Pastor's Weekly Musing

Hey everyone!

One of the most shocking financial lessons I learned as a young adult was the math behind buying a new car. As a young buck, I always dreamed of owning a brand new truck, and I was determined to buy one just as soon as I could afford the down payment that was advertised on the commercials (and monthly payments too, hopefully). 'So what?', I figured, if I couldn't afford the payments in the future: I'll just sell it and get my money back!

Har-dee-har.

I hadn't fully learned about the concept of depreciation yet. (I'm sure my parents told me, I just wasn't a very good listener as a 20-year-old.) We all know, depreciation is very real, and it effects cars probably the most of anything we buy.

Research shows that all brand new cars lose somewhere around 10% of value the moment you drive it off the lot! Sheesh! It loses another 10% after the first year, and somewhere around 60% by year five. That $35,000 car is worth $15,000 before you can blink. Sell it and get your money back? Ha!

This isn't a Dave Ramsey musing, by the way. It's to bring to light that depreciation is a real thing: the lowering of value of a particular item. The good news is that the opposite of depreciation -- appreciation -- is a real thing, too! Appreciation is the increase of value. Something, like a home or a stock, starts off at a certain value, and after some time has passed, something has effected the item in such a way that it's worth more, sometimes FAR more, than it was originally worth.

Did you know the same concept holds true for people? If depreciation means to decrease in value, and appreciation means to raise in value, then we can agree wholeheartedly that being an "appreciator" is a ministry!

When you appreciate your husband, you raise his value. When you appreciate your wife, you raise her value. When you appreciate your kids, you raise their value. When you appreciate your co-workers, you raise their value to you and to the company. When you appreciate your youth pastors, or kids volunteers, or nursery workers, or anyone doing anything at church to help out -- you raise their value!

The ministry of appreciation raises the value of people. Just watch them brighten up as soon as you say it to them. That's why God says gratitude is a ministry. You can make a ministry out of raising the value of people simply by appreciating them.

One of the things I've discovered is that everybody in life needs massive doses of encouragement. I've never met anybody who's said, "Oh no! I don't need a compliment! I have too many. Please, stop! I'm too affirmed. Don't give me any more."

You have an unqualified need to be affirmed, to be loved, to be appreciated -- and so does everybody else. If you want to be used by God, here's one way: Affirm everybody. Appreciate everybody. Show gratitude to everybody. Be an "appreciator"!