So I have be doing some dieting these past few weeks. It is a great eating plan with all kinds of healthy, not processed foods. Both my wife and I have more energy and just feel better. However, we are experiencing that bewilderment of looking at your plate of food, and though it looks like a sample of an appetizer, it’s your full meal, and you can’t believe that’s all you get! So it’s a bit interesting as we also have periods of feeling a new emotion…being ‘hangry!’ Hangry is that feeling of being so hungry from the lack of food, you get frustrated or angry or both! Though these are short lived, as we get to eat about six time a day.
Well, this past week, I was not doing well as that hangry feeling kept coming back and it just did not seem like enough food. I held on until weigh in day. I stepped on the scale and, yep, I lost some weight! I was so encouraged I wanted to keep going. That little affirmation went a long way to go another week. That next week, though it was tough, I continued to receive more affirmation. My pants were not as snug. I continued to feel better. The scale was once again my friend, and though I did not lose as much, I still lost something, and I actually received one of a dieter’s greatest affirmations, “Hey you look like you have lost some weight!” A little affirmation goes a long way.
Way more than dieting, words of affirmation can help, heal, and bless those around us. You may be able to recall some affirmation you received in life, some that even helped to shape you. I was affirmed that I did well at public speaking, so I majored in speech communication at San Diego State University. I was affirmed in leadership so I took on more and more leadership positions. I was affirmed by others and the Lord to head into ministry and I went to seminary while seeking pastoral ministry. Words of affirmation have also encouraged me when I have been down or dealing with the disappointments of life, or facing the hardships of hurts others inflict on us. Our words of affirmation go a long way The Bible encourages us to be about affirming others:
Proverbs 15:23 To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
Words of affirmation validate us, in that another person recognizes our being.
Affirmations also connect us to others, giving us that sense we are not in this world alone, someone cares enough to encourage us. Giving affirmation also helps combat the unfortunate course and harsh climate of sarcasm and cut downs.
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The truth is, sarcasm rarely helps, heals, or blesses. It many times hurts.
Proverbs 26:18-19 18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death 19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”
However, affirmation goes a long way.
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
More than ever, the people around us could use some words of affirmation; a compliment, a praise, a commendation, a tribute, some kudos, and those encouraging words, ‘good job.’ Sure, it takes thinking of others over ourselves and some effort to overcome wanting to be affirmed ourselves, but you could be used to make someone’s day. You could be used to help soothe an old wound or throw a life line to someone getting pulled down by the world’s negative current. You could even be a catalyst for someone to discover their new direction. Most certainly, you will validate another by acknowledging them and saying something kind. Why not try it this week and see how your blessings of affirmations make not just a difference in others, but in you.
Church can be a place to give and receive affirmation. Sure it involves getting to know people, but it is a place to interact with others. If you are not already connected to a church, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or one of our branch churches in either Los Alamitos or Garden Grove this week. Our website has all the information you would need. www.cypresschurch.net .
Let’s see how a little affirmation goes a long way.
Seeking to affirm others alongside you,