Articles by Stan Dean

Expressing Appreciation

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I found a recent article in The Wall Street Journal to be rather staggering. It stated that 70% of the college graduates are now beginning their careers with large loan debt. Would you believe that the average student loan debt for a college graduate in America is over $35,000? The article went on to state that the graduating class of 2014 is “the most indebted class ever.”

When I read that it made me feel very blessed (again!) for what my mom and dad did for me.  I was privileged to attend a Christian college (out of state) which was pretty pricey- - comparatively speaking.  Nevertheless, I was able to graduate debt free, but not on my own merits. The large part of the credit goes to my parents who worked hard to make it happen. But my point here is not about who pays for college tuition, but about being appreciative for those who bless us in life- - especially our parents. Not only should we feel it; we should express it (Cf. Ephesians 6:2). Read on and I will explain what I mean.

During my college days, I remember well at the end of every semester the president of the school would address the student body. One of the things he would encourage us to do over the break is to take the time to tell our parents “thank you” for the sacrifices they were making in order for us to be there. I do not why, but it took about three times of hearing him say that before it sank into my thick skull. So I decided over Christmas break to follow his advice.

One day while my parents were sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee, I figured it was an opportune time. However, the little speech I thought would be easy turned out to be one of the most difficult I ever delivered! But today I am so thankful that I pushed through it. Because I never dreamed that just 2 months later I would be attending my dad’s funeral from an untimely death of just 57 years.

Perhaps these words will motivate you to find the time to express your appreciation to someone that you love. Showing appreciation is a Christ-like state of mind (cf. Luke 17:11-18). And no one knows how long the opportunity will exist!

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