A few years ago a group of studies was carried out: the “Family Strengths Research Project” It 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, it was discovered, 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. 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 that we need to be sure that appreciation, praise, and thanksgiving are heard at least four times as often as is criticism. Praise and thanksgiving are important – and not just to our families and our workplaces, but in the end important to us as individuals before God.
God asks us for our thanksgiving – whether we feel like making it or not – so that we might experience the blessings it brings – blessings it brings to us, and blessings it brings to others.. Look around you – find that which is good and thank God for it – find that which is caring and thank God and the person who is doing it – look around – look inside – look outside – and think on that which is noble and true and beautiful and express your praise for it – express it no matter what the bad or the ugly may be up to.. God is hid in the ordinary routine events of our life – our practice of thank-giving will bring him to our sight and in so doing bring to others and ourselves a better world.