By Kelly McCausey
There is a lot being said and taught about using "affirmations" in your life to improve your situation and unfortunately, much of what is being said is not of much real value.
What is an affirmation?
~The act of affirming or the state of being affirmed; assertion.
~Something declared to be true; a positive statement or judgment.
Have you ever just needed some affirmation? I have!
There are some things that I do that I "feel" like I do an okay job with - but sometimes to be really confident of your abilities, you just need to hear someone else day that you're doing well. So when someone else comes along and says "Good Job!" that is an affirmation.
Hopefully you have people in your life who do affirm you in positive ways. People with the spiritual gift of exhortation are always great about speaking encouraging and affirming words to others.
The perceived value of affirmation.
When an affirmation is general, such as "You look nice today" we get a nice little warm fuzzy and don't really give it much thought.
We probably won't question its truth or the meaning behind it.
But when an affirmation speaks to something specific, such as "That color sure compliments your eyes. It really makes them pop!" it will have more meaning. Maybe just because the person took the time to comment on something specific and that just makes us feel somehow important - that someone was paying that close attention to us.
We are much more likely to consider the source and motivation behind this affirmation.
When an affirmation becomes very personal, such as when someone compliments your work, "That really impressed me. You are so good at what you do." the internal sense of being affirmed will be fairly intense.
And the intensity of the sense of affirmation is dependant upon the value you place on the affirmer's opinion and their motivation for affirming you.
Why is that? Well, if you're being complimented on doing a good job - won't it be important to know whether that person giving the compliments really understands what constitutes a good job in your field? If someone whom you respect compliments you, the affirmation will be perceived as quite valuable. More so, than if your Mom tells you so, unless mom happens to be in your field of work.
The more specific the affirmation, the more important the source of that affirmation is to the one being affirmed.
I love to receive compliments from the people I work with. If they think I'm doing well, I'm probably really doing well.
In order to feel genuinely affirmed you have to believe that the person doing the affirming is genuine. If you feel like someone is just trying to "get in good" with you - you probably won't place much value on their compliments.
Ok, so now that we've defined affirmation and considered how important the source and motivation behind motivation is to us, let's dig into the whole idea of Spiritual Affirmations.
Spiritual Affirmations are statements that we are encouraged to make about ourselves that will build us up spiritually. They gives us a sense of value and strength and confidence.
If you do a quick search in Google or Yahoo for `Spiritual Affirmations" you'll get a pretty big selection to choose from. But let me caution to you:
Remember the Rule: In order for an affirmation to truly be affirming it must be true.
If affirmations that come from others need to be true to be valuable, won't that also be applicable to the affirmations that we attempt to speak to ourselves?
Many of the affirmations being suggested on the web are generalized "warm fuzzies" that are basically harmless and not really all that useful. Those aren't of much concern to me. However, there are lots of affirmation website out there that are very specific in their affirmation statements and those statements are not based on any truth at all. That is dangerous to anyone who makes use of them.
Wrong Affirmation: I believe that the Universe will give me whatever I need.
Problem: The Universe will give you what you need? The
Universe is God's Creation. The University does not have a
personality and a will. It does not "give" anyone anything.
It simply is.
The Truth: God, the creator of the Universe, will give you whatever you need.
Wrong Affirmation: I can manifest what I want just by speaking it.
Problem: God has called us to submit to His will, not to exert out own. God does want to give good gifts to His children - but it is His plan, not our plan.
The Truth: God has given us a way to ask for what we want. It is called prayer. And like all good Fathers, the answer will sometimes be no.
Are our thoughts important and are the words we speak powerful? Yes!
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.." What we think, we'll eventually say and what we say is very powerful. We can speak words of life and we can speak words of cursing. The Bible tells us to guard our thoughts and mouths.
Proverbs 18:20-21 says "From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat its fruit."
So are there good Spiritual Affirmations that I can be speaking over my life?
Yes! As a matter of fact, the most powerful words that you can speak over your life are the words from the Word of God. God said that His Word will never return void. (It will never fail to do what it was intended to do.) It will never fail to bear fruit in your life!
Since God is your Creator and knows you better than anyone else, won't He know best how to affirm you and build you up? So rather than speaking general "warm fuzzies" over your life or demanding that the Universe give you something - go to the greatest Source of Truth there is and draw affirmations from what He has said about you.
I know that God cares for me and will meet my needs because I am precious to Him. -Matthew 6:25-44
I know that God is always with me. - Isaiah 41:10
I know that God will take care of me. - Psalm 27:10
I trust my hopes and dreams to God. - Psalm 119:116
I know that today's discouragement will be replaced by tomorrow's joy. - Isaiah 51:11
I know that God will give me the desires of my heart. - Psalm 37:4
I know that God will fill my life with good things. - Psalm 103:1-5
I know that God's unfailing love surrounds me and that I can trust Him. - Psalm 23:10
This is just a taste of the truth that you can pull from the Word and apply to your life as an affirmation. No matter the situation or need, there is an answer in God's Word for you. Speaking God's Truth over your life has the power to deliver you from bad situations, heal your body of sickness, renew your mind in the truth and transform your life for the better.
Jesus said: "If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Kelly McCausey co-hosts Women By Grace Internet Radio. Powerful encouragement for Christian Women. You can read more articles and listen in each week by visiting http://www.womenbygrace.com
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