by Rick Warren — November 20, 2022
From Building a Better Future
“I never stop giving thanks for you as I mention you in my prayers.”
Ephesians 1:16 (ISV)
There is no complicated secret to working well with others. You just have to learn to appreciate them!
How do you appreciate them? It’s simple. First, you practice recognizing someone’s value and contribution. Then, you make a habit of telling them, “Thank you.”
Nehemiah demonstrates four practical ways to show appreciation for others:
Recognize individuals by name. When you thank the people in your life who are making a difference, don’t just say, “You all are doing a great job. Thanks!” Get specific, like Nehemiah did. He singled out 71 people for special appreciation and called each one by name.
Recognize specific work. People feel appreciated when you point out the details of their work. Simply telling them they did a good job isn’t enough. It’s better to say, “I’m proud of you for doing this specific thing.”
Nehemiah recognized the detailed work of the people. He said, “The Old City Gate was repaired by Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah. They laid the beams, set up its doors, and installed its bolts and bars” (Nehemiah 3:6 NLT). The Bible shows that details matter!
Recognize great attitude. It’s hard not to notice great attitudes in a world filled with bad attitudes. In Nehemiah 3:20, Nehemiah singles out one man for his great attitude: “Baruch . . . zealously repaired an additional section” (NLT).
When you call attention to the passion and enthusiasm of others, it renews their energy and sparks new energy in others. You’ll end up having more people helping you with the vision God gives you.
Recognize extra effort. A man named Meremoth was mentioned twice in Nehemiah for going above and beyond. First, he repaired the fish gate. Then, he “repaired another section” (Nehemiah 3:21 ISV). Nehemiah recognized Meremoth’s extra work and wanted others to notice too.
Many people in my life have gone above and beyond to serve others and do their jobs well. And it’s given me great joy to point out their contributions and tell them how much they are appreciated. Sometimes it’s a conversation. Other times it’s a card or a note. But it’s become a habit to notice the efforts and attitudes of others, recognize their perseverance, and encourage them to keep going.
It takes practice to live with an attitude of gratitude and a spirit of appreciation. You can start practicing today!