Sermon Illustrations


You don't have to teach people to complain, criticize, or be selfish. We're naturals at it. But we do have to learn to express appreciation. People need to be appreciated.

A businessman went downtown to his office one morning, a couple of hours earlier than usual. He had some things he wanted to do before the employees came to work. No one was there when he arrived except old Tom, the custodian of the building. Old Tom was a faithful employee of many years service to the company. When the boss walked into his office there was old Tom emptying the ashtrays, dusting the furniture, and tidying up the place.

When the boss noticed him going about his routine, he said, "Tom, you know, as I look around this place, I can't help thinking what an asset you have been to our organization for all these years. You have kept this place clean and cheerful for our employees and our customers to enjoy."

"Tom," he said, "You are an important member of this organization and I want you to know that I appreciate you and all you have done."

Old Tom said "Thank you, boss," and walked out of the room with his dust cloth in his hand.

A few minutes passed and the boss had settled down to work at his desk--and then the door to his office opened and in came Tom. His eyes were moist--there was a tear on his cheek. The boss could not understand. He said, "What is wrong, Tom, did I say something to offend you?"

Tom said, "No boss, you didn't offend me, but I have something I want to tell you."

"Boss," he said, "You know that I have worked right here in this place for seventeen years--twelve of those years I have worked for you--and this morning is the first time anyone ever told me that they appreciated anything I do."

He said, "Boss, I just wanted you to know that I appreciate what you said to me this morning more than I have ever appreciated my paycheck that you sign for me. I just wanted to tell you." He then turned and walked out of the room

(Mike Rothenberger, Dale Carnegie & Assoc. From a sermon by Ed Sasnett, Friends, 8/11/2011)

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