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#ElevatedFriday, February 2nd, 2018

Happy #ElevatedFriday! Today we highlight a small story of giving that illustrates a great, but sometimes overlooked, principle of Christian relationships: appreciation. Gary Kelmer, a long time school bus driver for his locality in New Jersey, is a life-long Philadelphia Eagles fan. As a token of their appreciation for him and the kindness he has shown to their children all these years, the families of his area pooled their funds to buy Gary and his wife tickets and airfare to the Super Bowl to see his beloved team play. When presented with the gift, Gary remarked, “This is a special dream come true. I am ecstatic. I am ecstatic!”

We all know we are called to treat others the way we wish to be treated, but sometimes we forget that means more than just treating others with kindness and gentleness. When we all look back on our years, some of the moments that stand out the most are the times we felt genuinely appreciated. Appreciation is different from paying someone back a favor or giving something in hopes of gaining in return. Appreciation is a form of real, Christ-like love: no strings-attached and directly from the heart. In the First Epistle of John, he says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Showing appreciation to those we love is an important tenet of Christian relationships. Today, consider how you can show your appreciation to those you love.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8 ESV

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