Sense of VALUE
Every night as my husband and I crawl into bed, he reaches for our devotional. Before we close our eyes he is faithful to read, I so love that quality about him. The pages speak directly to marriage and relationship, pulling principles from scripture. Recently one of the authors shared briefly it is her daily goal to state or show appreciation to her husband. This sparked a good conversation between Mark and I.
I honestly feel that appreciation, to TRULY appreciate has become lost or ‘blurred’ in the least. Our culture screams, writes books and holds seminars with lists of ways to better increase … SELF. I was challenged to take a deeper looked at this. Normally when I write or teach, I ‘try’ to offer the shortest and simplest explanation. As if a table stands behind me covered with all my findings beneath it and only take a few items out to share. However, today I feel the need to pull the sheet back a bit further exposing even more detail. Please don’t allow your eyes to gloss over, stick with me we will end with a picture of understanding that has the opportunity to change how we communicate. It has for me.
We start with defining. Appreciate: Comes from the Latin, meaning ‘ap’ (towards) ‘pretiare’ (price) ‘to set at a price.’ Combining current definitions, it is the assessment of the true worth or value of a person or thing. It is recognition offering the proper value.
From here I went to the Bible. I found it used only once in the NT, although its theme is strong. The New American Standard translates ‘eido’ (know) as appreciate in Paul’s encouragement in 1 Th 5:12 “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate (eido) those who diligently labor among you and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction.”
This ‘eido’ means to perceive, contemplate with
amazement. To turn the eyes and the mind giving attention, the attention strong as to cherish
. Also, having an inward conscious knowledge. It strongly conveys, “I know what I know” not in an arrogant way, but a solid confidence. On a geeky note, ‘eido’ differs from ‘ginosko’ (another Greek word) ginosko, is progressive
in knowledge, while ‘eido’ suggests fullness of knowledge, as we would say today, “This is my final answer.” Paul strongly states in 2 Tim. 1:12 ” … I am not ashamed, because I know
(eido – “I know what I know and I cherish it”) the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.”
(emphasis mine) INTERESTING, tucked way back in the definition is ‘to bring or set together, to make known.’
The picture it paints for me: As if we were at an auction. The item is in front of everyone, small bids are made, yet YOU know the true worth of the item. You raise your hand, increasing the bid to a higher value. You ‘know that you know’ it is worth so much more. With your bid, you have recognized the proper value. As defined above, you have now brought and set together the true value alongside the item. Appreciate.
It is the same in relationships, as we offer ‘appreciation’ to others, we raise value with our words, actions and attitudes. We recognize qualities, and make them known. James Dobson says the two greatest needs of a child is “love and limits.” As we mature those needs expand. Psychologist William James said, “The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” Think if you will of a teenager, longing for significance, whom rarely makes eye contact. What would a simple statement or act of acknowledgement do for them? “I really appreciate that you raked the leaves for me, you did it quickly and thoroughly, a great quality. Thank you
.” Raise their sense
of value? Yes!
For some, the new raised sense of value exchanges the old ‘price tag’ (if you will) for a new one. The man sitting on the corner, the gas attendant, lady cashier at Safeway, our childs track coach, the Sunday school teacher, our children, our beloved spouses, you and me… we ALL need a good sense of value.
I found also that when operating with a heart of appreciation in the purest sense differs largely from flattery. ‘Excessive gushes of insincere praise given to further ones own interests.’ The underlining motive of flattery is the selfish goal to increase or maintain MY value with no intention to benefit the hearer. It is haphazardly throwing kind words in someones direction with little effort that it actually LANDS on them. (ouch!) It can be used as a manipulative tool and is not a quality our God smiles upon. “For if I tried flattery, my Creator would soon destroy me.” Elihu in frustration says this to Job in chapter 32 verse 22 David says, “My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery.” Ps. 5:9 Paul too speaks to this, “They (who cause divisions and upset people’s faith) have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk (flattery) to dupe unsuspecting innocents.” (MSG – emphasis mine) So flattery is an attempt to benefit oneself and not the person you are speaking to. Appreciation is not looking for anything in return it is for the sole benefit of the listener. One is selfish, the latter is self-less.
We are now careful to look at what is OPPOSITE: ‘Depreciate’, it too is a verb. To lose value, overlook, discard, to undervalue. The act of lowering value. Obviously it is intentional. When we ‘overlook’ or discard another’s qualities, we do indeed ‘depreciate’ them. Our kind words of appreciation, in essence ‘align.’ We help bring together their value alongside them, NOT depleting the amount. (Nod your head if that makes sense)
Appreciation and encouragement go hand in hand. The first is acknowledging what is
already there, appreciation. Encouragement is helping to strengthen it or bring new insight to cause the quality to be birthed and grow. Both are a must. “We live by encouragement and die without it. Slowly, sadly and angrily.” – Chuck Swindoll.
Example of this. Mark and I whole-heartedly appreciate Bruce and Mary, leaders of our Blueprints for Marrieds group from church. We so value them. We KNOW what it takes to facilitate an ever growing group, the time, engergy and love. They are amazing examples of committement, true love for each other, their God and God’s people. We have voiced it, and in doing so, we have come alongside them with our own giftings. Affirming and confirming, appreciating and encouraging. We have raised our hands.
The wisest man ever to live Solomon, penned, “The tongue has the power of life and death…” Pro 18:21 May we take pause and consider how we may offer life to another. Embrace them with selfless kindness, knowing the worth of them and their qualities, not holding the knowledge to ourselves, raising our hand and SHARE it! Appreciate.
Increase someones value today.
In Him DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)