Jesus, of course, is our model for showing and freely giving away recognition. Remember what he does in Matthew chapter 26 when a woman gives him shockingly expensive perfume? While his companions see it as foolishness, Jesus uses the moment to recognize the woman's gift and her heart behind it. The scriptures don't record what happens to her following this scene, but I'm guessing that she didn't walk away disappointed about his reaction or embarrassed about what she did. I bet she was inspired for more generosity and had a spring in her step. While we may be tempted to avoid giving away recognition for fear of puffing others up, Jesus seems to see those moments as opportunities to praise and point to the type of behavior and attitude that exemplify people who are truly good on the inside and out.
But there's even more going on. When we thank people and authentically show appreciation for them, we're creating an environment for what God wants to happen to actually happen. There's a writer in the Old Testament in the Bible that says, "Sow for yourselves righteousness...until he comes and showers his righteousness on you" (Hosea 10:12). In other words, do what's truly right, and God will show up and do his thing.
So, merely saying "thank you" is a good idea for a lot of reasons. Who do you need to be thanking- today?
Thank you for reading.