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Monday, November 23, 2009

291 Reasons to Say Nice (and True) Things to People

I'm a people person to the core. That is not to say I typify a people person, (sometimes I can be introverted and reserved, shy even.) only that I value relationships above anything else.

People are some of God's best gifts! One of my favorite things to do is to thank God for his handiwork in making people. I love to take attributes that I enjoy in others and thank our Creator for them. I think God enjoys this act as much as I do.

I discovered something about myself a few years ago. I realized that I have an ability to express my emotions with ease and that it would be beneficial for me to take my inward act of thanking God for people and make it a bit more public.

It rarely costs me anything to give a compliment, in fact I enjoy it. I never flatter. I have only trained myself to say what I naturally believe to be true. It seems so silly to me that I should ever withhold a kind word from anyone who might benefit from it in some small way. And so I have given myself permission to speak my mind freely in all matters concerning the positive attributes of others and my emotional fondness for them. I assume that the Maker of my BIG mouth has a purpose for it and that purpose is to use it in a way that honors Him while blessing others. So, I use my mouth often. I'd say as often as I can. (wink, wink) My intention is to love Jesus by loving others through words (at least. But not only).

This week I've felt God nudging me over and over again to consciously apply my efforts toward continually thanking Him. I tried to do this for as much as I could think of. I decided on a whim early this morning that I wanted to write each of my Facebook friends and express my gratitude for having them in my life. I have 291 friends on Facebook which meant that I would be typing out 291 personal notes. No copy and paste garbage for these precious folks.

I have been more blessed by this expression than I ever could have imagined.

As I took time to think about each person on my friend list I was blessed to recall the richness they have personally brought to my life. Fond memories, shared struggles, common bonds all came flooding back to my mind resulting in a deep and satisfying gratitude toward God and a genuine worship of Him.

But, it's just like God to never to be out-given. He's placed so many truly wonderful friends in my life that they all began writing me back and sending me kind words to bless my socks off. Thus they increased my thankfulness and joy a million times over.

Glory to God!

2 Corinthians 9:6-15*
*I know this passage is speaking about financial giving but I believe it applies to the kind of giving I referred to above; That kind of generous expression of good will and love toward others. I am also reminded of Galatians 5:22

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever." Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!


Bethany Taylor said...

Jennifer, your example is an encouragement to me. Thank you for regularly pointing me and others towards Christ! I'm so thankful that we have the opportunity to "know" each other. Hopefully some day we'll actually meet in person.

Stacey said...

I thought it was a completely amazing act that you would go to each persons page and write a kind note. I know I personally loved mine and was so thankful for the love you shared. I'm glad you are in my life!