Who are you thankful for today? Stop, take a moment, and list five people before reading on.
Who made your list of people you appreciate? If you’re like me, you immediately thought of people who are kind, loving, and forgiving. You may have listed people who have gone out of their way to provide for you, express their care and concern for you, or serve you in some way. However, do you appreciate the people who get on your nerves? Do you appreciate the person who always seems to rub you the wrong way?
In 1 Thessalonians 1:2, Paul says, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers.”
“All of you.” Paul was talking to the whole church in Thessalonica. He “always” gave thanks for “all of you.” This means he gave thanks for the people who challenged him. He gave thanks for the people who supported him. He gave thanks for the people who questioned his character and integrity. He gave thanks for the people who defended him from these accusations. He appreciated every one of them.
Appreciating everyone is hard work, but it’s work we are commanded to do in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We want to be appreciated at all times – on our best days and worst days, when we bless others and when we challenge them.
You might be asking how it is even possible to appreciate someone you don’t like or agree with. We can only appreciate and give thanks “always” for “all of you” if we appreciate the unique way God made everyone and the extravagant way He loves them. When we see others through God’s eyes, we appreciate them through Him. And then we, like Paul, can truly appreciate all others at all times.
If you desire to see others as God sees them, type this simple prayer in the comments below:
Lord, help me see people as you see them.
Author: Anne Bosarge