I joke with my husband that the reason I like word games so much is because they are so affirming. When I figure out words from the revealed letters, the app pops up with, “Fantastic!”, “Amazing!” “Brilliant!”…sometimes even with just a 3 letter word, lol.
Read today’s entry from the current bible study I’m doing with some friends. It addresses this very topic ❤
An excerpt from the Better Together Devotional by Rick Warren
Affirm Others By Accepting Them
Here’s a little secret: Everybody is looking for affirmation. Have you noticed that? People will do almost anything to get it. If you don’t believe that, just watch some of the reality shows. Look at what people do to get on TV, just so people will applaud them.
God is an incredibly affirming and loving Father. When you affirm other people, you are showing love and representing Christ. Jesus affirmed people as he ministered, so you are ministering like Jesus did. You’re showing the world a little bit more about what God is like.
One of the best ways to affirm people in everyday life is to show them acceptance. Romans 15:7 says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you” (NIV).
The easy choice sometimes is to snub and belittle and demean people, especially when they don’t measure up to our standards. We all have a tendency to take our strengths and project them on other people, and then put them down when they don’t meet our expectations. For instance, you may be someone who is always punctual, and when other people are late, you tend to look down your nose at them. At the same time, it makes you feel good about yourself because you’re better at being on time. Or maybe you’re a very tidy person who can’t help but notice when you go to other people’s houses how messy everything is, and it makes you feel better about yourself. We tend to project our strengths on other people, forgetting that we have weaknesses in other areas.
Let me tell you a better way to feel better about yourself. Instead of doing it by putting other people down, why not try lifting other people up? It gives you a thrill like nothing else.
The Bible says in Romans 12:10, “Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another” (AMP).
In order to do the work of God, you and I have to value the God given differences among us and the way we are uniquely shaped. Here’s how you know when you’ve accepted someone: You stop insisting that they be just like you. You realize and rejoice in the fact that they’re different. The truth of the matter is, the world would be a boring place if everyone were just like you. So God has made us in all different kinds of ways to do all different kinds of things so everything can get done in this world.
The goal of a family, a small group, a church family, or any community group is not to mold people into your image but to accept and affirm each other and help each other discover who God made you to be.
I struggle every day to stay connected to God. So many things rise up to distract me, to infuriate me, to confound me. The thing that has been made abundantly clear is that I cannot do anything apart from God (John 15:5). He wants me to love people I disagree with, that I struggle to not hate. Guarding my own heart and keeping myself transparent before Him, not because He can’t see me, or doesn’t already know my inner thoughts, but so that I do not slip into self deception, has become a way of life.
I think the times we now find ourselves in reveal what is in each of our hearts. You can either face it, confess it & own up to it, or accept the hate, embrace it, perpetuate it and look away from the mirror.
Jesus knows we can do nothing of any righteous consequence apart from Him. He doesn’t turn away in disgust when we come to Him with our ugliness and sin. He knows what it’s like to feel the feelings we experience and He knows what we need to overcome.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Do you have anyone in your life that you are hurting for?
Perhaps you are thinking of a loved one going through difficult circumstances, or you know someone making poor or dangerous choices.
Maybe the person you are thinking of is sick, addicted or being abused.
If you have the least bit of empathy, you feel their pain and want to help.
I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes I hurt so deeply for people I cry. I want to run to them and make it all better…to take away their pain, their illness… the addiction.
When I start to feel these deep, deep emotions, my thoughts turn to God – our loving, deeply merciful God. I experience just an inkling of the depth of love and longing I imagine He feels when He looks upon us – those He created.
I know the love and mercy of God. I have experienced it and live in it. My prayer is that if you don’t know God this way, that you will. And if you do know Him, that you will cry out to Him on behalf of those wounded, hurting souls that you know and are aware of.
Please reach up and accept the love God so generously pours out on us through His Son – Jesus.
If you want prayer, please leave a message in the comments. Details aren’t necessary unless you want to share.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” ~ Luke 13:34
[God Is Gracious and Just] Therefore the Lord waits [expectantly] and longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed (happy, fortunate) are all those who long for Him [since He will never fail them]. ~ Isaiah 30:18 The Amplified Bible