“Good job!” “I am proud of you!” “Well done good and faithful servant.” “You can do it!” These are a few phrases that everyone wants, needs, desires to hear. Affirmation is a need that everyone has that needs to be given, particularly from men. Many men (fathers) fall short in giving affirmation. As a result, many people do not know how to receive affirmation, or they seek affirmation from unhealthy relationships. The good news is that God lavishes His affirmation upon us.
Our society today is not much different from times in the Old Testament. There tends to be a dearth of older (in wisdom) men and women who are willing to teach and guide and affirm the younger generations. Look at how Gideon viewed himself in Judges 6:11-16. When the Angel of the Lord spoke to Gideon, Gideon’s view of himself was low. After being called a “Mighty hero” by the angel (who wouldn’t want to be called a Mighty hero by an Angel of the Lord?), he still doubts his role. Instead of leaving Gideon because of his doubt, the Angel of the Lord invests and affirms in Gideon even more despite his doubts. The angel tells Gideon that the Lord will be with him! From there, Gideon goes on to do great works for the Lord despite his supposed low position.
From this interaction, we learn three benefits of receiving and using words of affirmation:
1. Affirmation exposes us to our true identity. When the Lord speaks words of affirmation to us, it opens our eyes and minds to who we are truly meant to be. When you are having trouble with your identity, Jesus sees you and affirms you as His son. Repent and rid yourself of your past sins, hurts and disappointments. Your identity is affirmed through Jesus’ death on the cross.
2. Affirmation moves us into our purpose in Christ. Fear and anxiety can cripple anyone. Take courage in the words God spoke to Gideon, “…Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:14) What God said to Gideon was the equivalent of “I believe in you! You can do this. This is your purpose in life.”
3. Affirmation empowers us into Action. God did not just affirm Gideon to make him feel better about himself. God affirmed Gideon so that he would act, go, do. Words of affirmation motivate us to do something; to do something for the glory of God. Affirmation inspires and motivates people into greatness.
The power of affirmation has ripple effects, some seen immediately, others are seen later. Take time and let God affirm you. Then, invest and affirm in others as God has affirmed you!
To view the service & listen to the full sermon by Pastor Armand on 9/27/20 click here: The Power of Affirmation