The Blessing of AcknowledgementFebruary 26, 2014 - 5:00 am
Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the LORD had commanded. So Moses blessed them. — Exodus 39:43
The Torah portion for this week is Pekudei, which means “counting,” from Exodus 38:21–40:38, and the Haftorah is from 1 Kings 7:51–8:21.
“Good job!” “Well done!” Or as they say in Hebrew, “Kol Hakavod,” “all the honor to you!” In any language, it doesn’t take much to recognize someone’s achievements, but it can make all the difference in the world.
In this week’s Torah portion, we witness the implementation of God’s plan for the Tabernacle. The repetitive refrain after describing what the children of Israel did is: “as the LORD commanded Moses.” The Israelites had done a stellar job in building the Tabernacle with enthusiasm, love for God, and completely in line with God’s will. At the end of their efforts, they presented their handiwork to Moses who inspected it and proclaimed it good. Then comes four powerful words that can be easily overlooked: “So Moses blessed them.”
What was the purpose of Moses’ blessing? The Israelites had already completed all the work. Surely, they needed the blessing before achieving their goals, not afterward.
True, encouragement is helpful before we set out to complete a goal. However, acknowledgement after a goal has been realized is equally as powerful, if not more so.
Imagine a child is told to clean his or her messy room. The child takes the task to heart and works hard. She meticulously lines up her shoes; he perfectly arranges his books on the bookcase according to size. Every crumb is swept, every stray paper tossed in the garbage. As a finishing touch the child mops the floor so that it shines. Then the parent is called in.
At this point all the work is done; however, what the parent says – or doesn’t say – will have an incredible impact on what happens in the future. Imagine that the parent walks in, takes a quick glance, and says, “Great, now do your homework.” How would that make the child feel about all that hard work? How might that child react in the future when asked to do a chore?
Now, what if the parent walks in and says, “Wow! You did an incredible job! You are wonderful! May you always make us this proud!”
What kind of impression would that make?
Moses, in his brilliance as a teacher and leader, understood the importance of giving a blessing after the work has been completed. By doing so, he hoped to raise the children of Israel up a notch and encourage faithful obedience in the future.
This week, let’s look for opportunities to bless the people in our lives. Let’s encourage and inspire our family, our friends, our coworkers by acknowledging a job well done. We may never know the influence that our words may have on someone’s future. It only takes a moment to say, but the impact can last forever.