There is something incredibly attractive about people who have developed the “appreciation habit.” They are genuinely “other’s oriented” and seem to have been healed of the sociological disease of “self-occupation.” They see sunshine more than the clouds… Gifts more than greed… Grace more than grasping… God’s hand in things more than evil’s insidious influence in everything!
I walked by a guy today during the walk that Sharon and I enjoy on Saturday mornings. I smiled at him and said, “Good morning!” He replied in a rather curt manner with a dour expression on his face, “good morning.” I remarked to Sharon after he passed, “That guy has mastered a difficult feat… He has learned how to say ‘Good morning’ with a scowl on his face!
Appreciation, deep in your heart and pervasive in your personality, not only pleases God, it’s attractive to others. It’s a free makeover that the Creator gives generously that makes ordinary faces and common countenances absolutely stunning and winsome!
I was thinking about all of this when I read Psalm 136 this morning. If any passage makes it points by repetition this is the one! It’s like two choirs responding to each other’s refrain antiphonally: One sings out the character, grace and goodness of God – the other responds with the lyric reminder and declaration, “For His steadfast love [Hebrew, “Hesed” – His “covenant keeping love,” His mercy} endures forever!”
Here’s a taste of the preoccupying perspective I want to capture my heart and influence my face from Psalm 136…
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His steadfast love endures forever! Give thanks to the God of gods. For His steadfast love endures forever! Give thanks to the Lord of lords. For His steadfast love endures forever! To Him who alone does great wonders. For His steadfast love endures forever! … It is He who remembered us in our low estate. For His steadfast love endures forever! And rescued us from our foes. For His steadfast love endures forever! He gives food to all flesh. His steadfast love endures forever! Give thanks to the God of heaven! His steadfast love endures forever!” (From Psalm 136)
Get it? Does that truth capture your heart today?… Does it influence your personality?… Does it change your outlook on life? Does it radiate from your countenance? If you will let it, it will make you attractive to others and be pleasing to God. Oh Lord, may my appreciation for Your covenant love flow freely from my heart and lips! Then may that outlook overflow to everyone around me!