October ’21: Finding Affirmation
By Winnie Lai-Fong
Affirmations – positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes.
I reflected on where I often get my affirmations, and I am embarrassed to say that my sources of affirmation include accomplishments, families’ and friends’ approval and affection, even the number of likes to my social media posts! All these affirmations only give me a temporary boost to my self-worth. Before long, I find myself going back to look for more affirmations from the same sources. The bible tells me that the one affirmation that can truly satisfy is from God – that God loves me so much that He sent his one and only Son as an atoning sacrifice for my sins.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10
Many, if not all, of us have read this verse multiple times. In fact, there are no less than 30 verses in the bible that tell us God loves us. What does that mean to me, really? It means:
- God loves all the imperfections in me; He created me, and is patient and merciful with me. (Psalm 86:15; Ephesians 2:10)
- God doesn’t love me any less because I have been avoiding Him or ghosted Him. (Psalm 139:7-8)
- God’s love for me is not dependent on any of my accomplishment or performance. (Psalm 51:16-17)
- God truly values me. (Matthew 10:29-31)
Any negative or self-sabotaging thoughts are not from God. Thoughts such as “I am not enough”, “I don’t matter”, “I’m not lovable” are all lies that Satan tells us to make us doubt God’s love for us. Since the first encounter in the Garden of Eden, Satan has been trying to create doubts in our hearts for God’s love and good intention. Don’t be deceived; God is interested in building us up, not tearing us down. He wants to nourish our souls as we draw close to Him.
When we can truly believe and accept God’s unconditional love for us as broken and imperfect people, then we also begin the journey to accept and love ourselves as broken and imperfect. In turn, we will grow our ability to love the messy, broken, and imperfect people around us.
Love yourself for who you are because Jesus loves you enough to die on the cross for you. This is the ultimate affirmation. Now, take a moment and reflect where you have been getting your affirmations in the last week, and meditate on the verses above to let them sink in.