September 20th – The Joy of Affirmation

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“There are high spots in all of our lives and most of them have come about through the encouragement of someone else” – George M.Adams

     Not long ago, I attended the funeral service of a friend’s mother who passed away.  I drove a few hours to make the visit, and when I arrived I noticed that the family was surrounded by a host of guests and visitors. Inconspicuously, I sat down in the back of the church and waited for the service to begin.  Not knowing I was there, my friend got up to say a few words and immediately recognized me sitting in the congregation.  In front of the entire crowd he acknowledged my attendance and expressed his appreciation for my effort.

Though it was a small gesture, it made a big impact. Although I came to encourage and support my friend and his family, he, ironically encouraged me.  In that brief moment, my friend did something that we all need to do from time to time: acknowledge the efforts of other people.

At the end of the day, all of us want to feel appreciated.  We want to know that we are making a difference in the world.  So when we acknowledge others, we are, in essence, bringing affirmation to their lives. Your children, your spouse, your friends, your pastor, your students –they all need encouragement.  One of the greatest ways to encourage them is simply to acknowledge them in some small, simple way.  Don’t wait until they are in the casket – acknowledge them today.


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