Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Affirmation is an essential part of our self-esteem. It includes encouragement, reinforcement, praise, support & acknowledgement, and a steady diet of "I'm with you" (security), "You're important" (significance), and "You can do it" (competence). For biblical illustrations I used
1. God's patience and repeated reinforcement of His covenant with the Patriarchs.
2. Abraham and Isaac climbing up Mt. Moriah w/ the knife, wood, and fire, but no sacrifice. Abraham's answer to Isaac's question about where it was, "God will provide." He had come a long way - with God's guidance and affirmation for many decades. Now he was affirming Isaac.
3. David in all of Psalms 23 - talk about feeling God's affirmation?
4. The ultimate - God's affirmation of Jesus at His baptism and transfiguration
5. Paul - over and over - Phil.4:13 & 19, and many more.
Another fancy title: Mike's Five Proverbs of Affirmation
1. The best way to receive affirmation is to give it to others. The personal affirmation we receive from guiding & helping others is simply the principle Jesus taught when He said, "It is more blessed to give than it is to receive." Acts 20:35
2. Criticism that is not deeply rooted in affirmation is destructive and deadly. Oft forgotten by church folks. It was always Paul's practice to praise and encourage first. "Misery loves company" so there will always be folks who tear down rather than build up. Eph.3:29
3. Affirmation is an unselfish act, but when it becomes self-serving - it's only and act. (Nuff said)
4. Affirmation is the easiest and purest form of giving. It's not about money, but caring, giving effort, time, and thoughtfulness for others. It's doing what Jesus would/did do. (Matthew, Zaccheus, Woman at the well, children, etc.)
5. Affirmation is the joy of sowing followed by the rejoicing of reaping! Plant seeds of "I'm with you," "You're important," and "You can do it," and then water, feed, and protect. The results are maturity, strength, confidence, and new affirmers. 1 Cor.3:5-9
A family that only shares a house, food, TV, bills, and nothing else is sick and dying. The same is true for a church family. If we are not affirming one another, which is one of the main ways we help one another develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, we are just a house.