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The Importance of Appreciation

“So, encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”1

A few years ago, Dr. Nick Stinnett of the University of Nebraska conducted a group of studies called the "Family Strengths Research Project"

Stinnett and his researchers identified six qualities that make for strong families. The first quality and one of the most important to be found in strong families was the quality of appreciation. Families that are strong are strong in part, Dr. Stinnett concludes, because family members express to each other their appreciation for what the other members DO and for who they ARE.

In a similar study another researcher looked into the effect of praise in the workplace.

His study showed that the ratio of praise to criticism in the workplace needs to be four to one before employees feel that there is a balance - that there must be four times as much praise as there is criticism before they feel good about their work and about the environment, they work in.2

That is pretty staggering information - information that tells us that if we want to do something good, that if we want to have a healthy family, a strong workplace, or any other effective group, we need to be sure that appreciation, praise, and thanksgiving are heard at least four times as often as is criticism.

As we enter this month of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to start with reframing your mindset to focus more on appreciation and thanksgiving, than on criticism and negativity. Perhaps this is something you already practice, in which case I commend and encourage you to continue blessing others in this way. If, like myself, this is something you struggle with from time to time, I encourage you to start implementing praise in your conversations and interactions. Whether it be with your children, spouse, neighbor, friend, or family member, think of ways to build them up. In return you will experience great joy as you learn to be more like Jesus in this way.

Suggested prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, at times my human tendency focuses on the negative side of things before taking all the positive into consideration. I ask that you give me your heart and eyes, full of compassion, that I can learn to build others up with all I say and do. I want my family, and every place I go, to be stronger and blessed. Please start this work with me. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT).



All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.