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appreciation and thankfulness

When Appreciation Isn’t On the Agenda

Thanksgiving is that time of year when we focus on gratitude, but giving thanks and experiencing appreciation are not necessarily on the same serving dish.

Ever had a rough year…

…one where the negative events and emotional drama of life is best left unstated and forgotten? Welcome to Jeremiah’s life.

Jeremiah was a prophet. In Kingdom terms, he was a successful prophet—that is, he sacrificed everything and had nothing to show for it in his generation.

Jeremiah was born during the reign of one of the most horrible kings in history. The people he served rejected him. His prophecies were burned by the king. His own brothers attacked him. A fellow priest put Jeremiah into the stocks, and the city officials threw him into a deep cistern. His reputation was that of an emotional mess—the “Weeping Prophet.”

I have yet to read a Christian’s job description that states:

Expect to be appreciated, validated, and thanked for your labors.

It just isn’t in the contract. Scripture emphasizes our role of giving thanks, not receiving it.

Jeremiah died, unknown and unappreciated; yet, we are still reading his words and learning from his prophecies 2,600 years later. This prophet had a bigger picture then just the dreams of this life. He fulfilled the call of God in his generation because he knew the call was one that carried on over into eternity future.

An old story is told of Henry C. Morrison who became sick after serving forty years in Africa and had to return home to America. There was a great crowd gathered as the mighty ocean liner docked in New York Harbor. Morrison watched as President Teddy Roosevelt received a grand welcome-home party after his African safari.

Fighting resentment, Henry turned in discouragement to God. “I have come back home after all this time and service to the church and there is no one, not even one person to welcome me home.”

Then a still, small voice whispered in Morrison’s ear, “You’re not home yet, Henry.”

We are not home yet, friends.

Only when we are truly home will we hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  • How important is appreciation to you?
  • Can you live without it?
  • Does our culture help or hinder an attitude of gratitude? Why?

Join the conversation in the comment section below.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Carolyn

    This is very good Susan … it’s causing me to really think … about God … His Word … about what He says to us in regard to the refining that happens as we go through the trials in life and allow God to be the one in charge. Thank you.

  2. Lilly Green

    It is true but a hard true. 🙂 We all want to be self-sacrificing, worshiping and doing for an audience of one, but the “gravity” (think science) of humanness holds us down from celestial thinking. Oh, Lord, that we had eyes to see what it is we are really living for.

  3. Susan Gaddis

    Oh good, I’m not alone in this! It is nice to know that other’s are feeling the humaness of struggle between what we feel we need and what we are actually called to do. Ugg! Thank you Carolyn and Lilly for your comments.

  4. moi moi

    Absolutely!!!! We do TOO little of it….that’s why it’s high on my agenda. Can’t live without GETTING it and can’t live without GIVING it!!!! Great reminder Sue….

  5. Lora Dawes

    Oh Susan, I loved this post and forwarded it to all of my friends. Here is one response from one of them…

    Being a mom means living without appreciation for sure! The harder part is when it’s compounded by little or no appreciation from those you work for/with and also from your husband. It’s certainly an exercise of faith, one that I know I fail at continually, but getting better as I fail! I think when we finally get it, we are at the end of the journey! I am so thankful that I have friends to build me up with words of encouragement and especially to remind me to do the same for others!

    So your words are encouraging many Susan. I especially liked the part where God whispers…”You’re not home yet.” What a wonderful day that will be.

  6. Susan Gaddis

    Thank you so much, Lora, for your comments and for sharing the post. I do hope that this blog becomes a blessing to many. I’m sure getting refined and stretched and, yes, blessed in doing it. I can totally relate to the mom comments as it is so true. It never ends, even as the kids grow up and leave. I know that God gives us a husband and kids just to make us face ourselves and grow! I really did think I was a pretty good Christian until I got married and had six kids–then all the yuck began to rise up and had to be dealt with. How come it is our husbands and kids who know so well how to push our buttons?

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