The Power of Recognition

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

My wife, Kristi, and I were doing our usual walk one evening. Near the end of our trek around the neighborhood, we walk through a shopping center. It’s usually a buzz with people getting coffee, going grocery shopping, or getting their nails done. There is also a kind of martial arts studio, and a kid’s art place. Well, as we were finishing dodging the parents who were waiting for their kids to be done with taekwondo, we noticed one young family coming out of the smoothie shop and another school age family with a child coming out of the art place. The young boy in tow from the smoothie place all of a sudden had a huge smile on his face and with gusto yelled out, “Trevor!?!” TREVOR!” The boy, looking the same age as the other, whipped his head around and with an even bigger smile, taking in a deep breath bellowed out, “Jordan! JORDAN!!” The boys both broke free of their parent’s hands, ran towards each other, and embraced with a strong, long hug. They released yet held on to each other with one arm over each of their shoulders as they faced their parents. It was all smiles as the kids shared what they were doing, and the parents exchanged greetings. As we walked on, I could not get the joyful expression and the sheer delight of these two boys acknowledging their relationship and affirming their connection out of my mind. It was a glimpse of the power of recognition.  

You may have experienced that as well. You see someone you know well, or an acquaintance, and you are genuinely happy to see them. Then they step towards you as you step towards them, and it’s powerful. We feel encouraged, acknowledged, visible, like we matter, that we are connected to another. There is a power of recognition.

God encourages is to engage this power of recognition.

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Romans 12:9-10 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the

household of faith.

The blessings and benefits of this wonderful exchange between people gets diluted when we hold back and want the other to come to us, waiting for them to walk across the room to initiate an interaction. Yet when both make an effort, it’s wonderful. Sure, maybe one initiates in the moment, but then the other moves quickly to connect and it’s wonderful.

This world could use more of the power of recognition. Maybe you can add to the blessing by noticing others you know or have met and say hi. Why not try the next time you head out.

Church can be a great place to practice the power of recognition. If you don’t regularly attend a church, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. We would love for you to join in. You can also find us online at As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.

Seeking to engage the power of recognition along with you,


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