“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
One of the quickest ways to lose the heart of those who help you is to forget to show appreciation for what they do. For anyone to say that people should serve the LORD without expecting appreciation is only showing their ignorance of God’s Word. The verse above is very clear that God shows appreciation to His children for what they do. God is a God who rewards those for good and bad. It is a shame to rebuke those who work for you when they do wrong but never show appreciation to the same people for the hard work they do to help the organization to go forward. The verse above gives several lessons about being grateful.
First, it is a sin to be ungrateful. The verse above says, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love…” You will notice that God uses the word “unrighteous” to describe the importance of showing gratitude. This means that it is righteous to show gratitude for work accomplished and love shown. Only a Pharisee and a selfish person will take for granted the work people do and the love they show. According to the verse above, being ungrateful is just as sinful as lying, adultery, fornication, or any other sin the Scriptures talk about. You cannot be right with God and be ungrateful at the same time. Thoughtfulness and gratitude reveal your heart towards God and your perception of yourself.
Second, God’s character is to reward His children out of a heart of gratitude. God never forgets what you do, and He always rewards you for it. It is a comfort to those who work behind the scenes to realize that God will be grateful for the work His children do. If the believer wants to be like God, they need to make gratitude a part of their character just like it is part of God’s.
Third, be grateful for the work people do. The verse above says that God is not unrighteous to “forget your work.” In other words, God points out the importance of being grateful to those who help you accomplish tasks and assignments. You must be very careful about taking for granted the work and effort people give to help you. A little “thank you” for the labor people do to help you with a job will help them want to do more for you the next time.
Fourth, be grateful for the love people show. The verse above also talks about God not forgetting the “labour of love.” When people do things for you, a note of appreciation will show those who have spent the time to love you that their thoughtfulness didn’t go unnoticed. Nobody should ever feel that you are ungrateful about the love they showed. Certainly, there may be times when you forget to show your appreciation, but people will often forgive you for the one time if it is your character to show appreciation.
Fifth, a little appreciation can go a long ways to building or keeping morale. Showing public appreciation for work done in the shadows builds morale and shows a leader’s appreciation for others. Nothing will help you to keep the morale of a team than to be appreciative of the work others do and the love they show.
Let me ask you; do you owe appreciation to someone? It doesn’t take much effort to say, “Thank you.” Appreciation is not only proper, but it is the right thing to do.