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- Episode 21: Affirmations Are Cool
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Affirmations Are Cool
I used to think that affirmations were not cool! I mean, what good is it sitting in front of a mirror saying nice things about yourself? Well, I've got news for you: affirmations are very cool. At least, when understand through our connection with Jesus Christ. We can believe in Jesus to the fullest. But if we do not also believe in ourselves, and the strength we have because of Him, problems and failure will persist. But with affirmation comes healthy and powerful confidence, and through this God is greatly honored! To learn about how "bowties are cool" and "affirmations are cool" check out today's episode!
All right. Before we get into our episode on affirmations, I want to begin by saying bow ties are cool. Now. I don't know how you feel about bow ties and in truth, for a really long time, bow ties were not cool at all, but in 2010 Matt Smith took over as Doctor Who, I don't know if you're a Whovian or not, I enjoy Doctor Who. I caught it when it rebooted back in 2005 and I've watched most episodes since, and Matt Smith comes on the scene replacing David Tennant, the greatest doctor of all time, and he's wearing a bow tie. At the time, very few people thought bow ties were cool, but he kept wearing them. Every episode he has a bow tie on and at every opportunity he would say, bow ties are cool. He just kept telling himself that and he kept telling everybody else and wouldn't you know it...
Bow ties became cool again, like everybody in Europe that watches the show, people who watched on BBC America all of the sudden bow ties are the thing again because he believed in it and he stuck with it, so that's why our episode is titled: Affirmations are Cool. Because most people consider affirmations to be not very cool. The idea that you're just going to kind of sit there and say nice things about yourself, say confident things about yourself and claim personal victory over the day and then get out there and do great. It's just not something that a lot of people are in to. I think for me, and look, let me just say this, two show references in one episode, I do not watch Saturday night live. However, I used to back in my younger days and there was this actor named Al Franken and he did a skit called daily affirmations and he would look in the mirror and say things like, I deserve good things.
I am fun to be with. I'm good enough. I'm smart enough and people like me. It was incredibly goofy and kind of hilarious because nobody would actually do that. And just to be clear, the idea of sitting down in the morning and opening up your daily journal and you know we talk a lot about that on this program. That one great hour in the morning reading scripture, praying, writing down things that help you, the idea of sitting down and writing things like that about myself on a piece of paper. Well that was totally not cool. Affirmations were not cool and I didn't do them for a really long time. I would say that this journey of trying to get more out of the day for me is two years in length. I started a couple of years ago listening to fellas, reading some books, trying to learn a better way to maximize my day and they talk about affirmations all the time.
It is a staple of the miracle morning, the book by Hal Elrod, and yet I adapted so much of the things that he said connected them to my spiritual walk and left the affirmations out. In fact, I left out both of the vowels. Let me explain. He uses an acronym for the miracle morning savers, S. A. V. E. R. S.. S is for silence, A is for affirmations, V is visualization of the upcoming day. E is exercise, R is reading, and the last S is scribing. And I've adapted and utilize so much of that. Instead of silence, I replaced that with prayer. Visualization is planning the day and laying out daily highlights and eating frogs. Reading is scripture and Scribing is just the act of writing all of it down. So my savers lacked both of the vowels. I didn't do affirmations and I didn't do exercise in the mornings. I still very infrequently do that.
We've talked about that in previous episodes. If you can put 60 minutes in the morning on prayer and reading and writing things down and planning the day, then you can take your 30 minutes of exercise and put it anywhere. Maybe it's something you do in the morning, maybe you do it at lunchtime or in the evening, but I always found a place for it somewhere else. However, with affirmations, they were just not cool and I didn't do them. Instead, I just tried to ramp up my recognition of God. God is powerful, God is strong, God can help, God is capable and I still do that. That's really important. However, in this last six months or so, I've started introducing the idea of affirmations and it's become such a positive impact on my day that in my daily journal, the Excel Still More journal. The last thing that I do on the bottom right hand page is write down affirmations before that last prayer and then head out and take on the day and I want to tell you why I've made this big change.
I'm the guy walking around with a bow tie on now saying bow ties are cool. Okay. Just to be clear, that's only a figure of speech. I do not wear bow ties, but affirmations that I previously considered useless have actually become a very important part of my daily focus on God and the achieving of goals. And I've started to put it into some sermons recently as well, and we'll talk a bit more about that. But here's the reason why. It turns out with just even the most casual of observation. If you're looking for it, you will find that personal affirmations in your walk with God are actually all throughout the New Testament and I mean in just about every letter. Here's one that you know really well. Philippians 4:13 - do you know what that says? Here's the apostle Paul. He's in jail, and yet he's got this terrific attitude.
He's rejoicing. He's laying all of his concerns at the feet of God. He's being strengthened by the peace of Jesus. He said, I know how to live. No matter what happens today, good or bad, whether I'm free or captive, the reason why I, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He didn't say Christ can do all things, though He can of course. He said, I can do all things through Christ. That's a personal affirmation of confidence, connected to the power of Jesus in his life. You see, it's one thing to recognize the power of Jesus, but it's something else to recognize the power that you now have, the ability that you now possess because Jesus is working through you. Now, I know this is a little bit of an affront to an episode we did a couple of weeks ago on pronouns, on counting your pronouns, but this is different. This isn't walking around having conversations with people, starting them with I and talking about who you are and what you're going to do.
This is about your private time in the morning. This is about time considering who you are and how successful you will be today. This is about time connecting your strength to the strength of God in you and then offering that to the Lord in prayer. If you're able to do that, to walk out the front door with confidence in victory in Jesus, then it will have a profound effect on every relationship that you have, every temptation that you face and every goal that you yearn for, but you have to be confident because if we don't believe in ourselves, the power of Jesus isn't going to help. If I'm somebody who walks around and says, "I can't do all things, I can't do anything, I'll never be able to make this change in my life. You know God can do all that, but I'll never be able to do it."
God will not do it for you. God will provide you the power to do it. There needs to be some affirmation in who you are to carry that out. Now, before we're done today, I'm going to give you some real examples from the last couple of weeks in my personal journal, but I need you to continue to see this idea laid out in scripture and look, I'm not surprising you with anything here. These verses are common to us. Do you remember the armor of God passages from Ephesians chapter 6 the text says in verse 10: finally be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might put on the bull armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Now, let's be clear, and I know you understand what I'm saying. I know that it is God that makes all of that possible.
If you go on and read in that text, every piece of the armor of God that you put on connects itself directly to the word of God. This is the power that God provides through the Gospel. This is the power that God provides through the Holy Spirit. This is the power that God provides by his strength. We would be nothing without his strength, so I'm not taking anything away from God. Instead, what I want you to see is if we believe in all of that, then we have to believe in ourselves. I am going to be strong in the Lord. Maybe one of my affirmations today is: "God, I know there are some great trials coming today. I will be strong in you. I will stand firm in my convictions and the strength of your might." So I'm using the personal pronoun to talk about my own confidence, but I'm connecting it directly to him.
"I will put on your armor and I will be able to stand against those temptations and trials at the devil puts in my life." Those are affirmations of faith and you want to talk about cool. Getting into the middle of the day and feeling that first trial come at you and not only knowing that God is there, but also knowing that you have made real convictions today. Personal convictions. You wrote it down this morning, "God, I will stand for purity. I will stay holy. I am capable of being selfless." You put those things down about you and again, all of them are being drawn from the power of the Lord and it changes everything. There's a sense of responsibility on your part. Now affirmations, kind of the cool part about them that you don't see coming in vocalizing in prayer or writing and reading, is that you have created some personal accountability for your own willingness to fight and it has paid big dividends for me.
I'm thinking of one other verse. I wanted to give you a few passages from the apostle Paul here. I'm thinking of Galatians Chapter Two Verse 20: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me". Now listen, he didn't say I became a Christian and now Jesus has control of everything. I am powerless. I am weak. I can't do anything right. And the only thing that goes right is when Jesus reaches in and does it. There are doctrines that teach that. But that is not what Paul said at all. He said, I made the choice to be crucified with Christ and now it is Christ who lives in me. And so I will no longer live in the flesh.
I will live by faith. That's an affirmation. He's writing it down and sending it out. In this letter he saying, I've made a decision on how I'm going to live and it's Jesus who lives in me now because he loved me and gave himself up for me. As I said already, we're drawing these personal affirmations directly out of what we know and believe and enjoy: Jesus. Okay, so as we close, I want to leave you with an exercise and here's really what it is. Whatever you're doing in the morning, whatever you're writing down, I'm asking you to include level three gratitude. First of all, that was back in episode 19 this time last week. If you have not yet checked that out, please do so. And then after that, underneath that, write down some affirmations. So as we crack open my journal here, I'm going to read a few entries, a few days worth.
And so I'll begin with the gratitude. And then the affirmation so you can see how the two fit together. Here's a fairly short entry set under gratitudes. I wrote: "Another beautiful day. I'm so thankful for the day and for this wonderful family. Also, I'm glad to have this great church to work with. I'm thankful for the gifts that God has given me by his power and I want to use them in his kingdom." So underneath that in affirmations I wrote, "I can eat today's frog," which by the way was a very intense Bible curriculum expedition. "I can get better and I will get better as a husband and as a father. I will once again shut down Satan and the ways that he likes to attack me." So see how they work together? It starts by thanking God for what we have and making some commitment to return thanks.
And then it gets very courageous in language in terms of the direct ways that I want to be strong for God. A couple of days later, under level three, gratitude I wrote, "I am thankful to God for my health, my life, and my family. The Lord has done all of this. He preserves us. May I more openly show gratitude by encouraging and visiting those who do not presently enjoy those same benefits" and I listed a couple of people's names under affirmations I wrote, "I am strong enough to break old habits. I am strong enough to do harder things and I have the ability in Jesus to be more selfless. He has perfectly placed to me to be invigorated to greater service to him." It's interesting as I look back on this, that both the gratitude and the returning of thanks and the affirmations had to do with serving others and that's actually a pretty common theme for me.
I'm trying to be more courageous and stepping out to assist other people during the week. Similarly, the next day, under gratitude, I wrote, "thank you for my family and our church. You built this, you have breathe life into them and to me you are the reason we are safe and prospering. May We sing and pray and worship vigorously." This was on a Sunday. "May We pour out our hearts to you." Under affirmations are cool. I wrote, "I am capable of selflessness. I can put others first, be non threatening and genuinely a servant. Christ is my king. My example, I have the power to be meek and lowly." Now I wrote that because it was Sunday and I was about to interact with hundreds of people and I just wanted to walk in the room and become the lowest person and put them first. I knew I could do it.
I know that Jesus' example has made that possible and also his presence, and look, it was a great Sunday, not just for that but for a lot of reasons. But writing those things down before I left for church made a big difference for me. And I truly believe as if I was wearing an Astros bow tie and trying to show you how to tie one yourself, I genuinely believe that affirmations like this coupled with gratitude bound together in prayer can not only make a difference when you head to the church building, it can help you be stronger and more selfless and a better servant to God where you work, where you go to school, when you interact with your neighbor. Just remember this, no matter where you go, Jesus is near you and he is all powerful and he can do all things, but he needs you to believe in yourself. So find your confidence in him. Write down your personal convictions, and don't be afraid to say it: Affirmations are Cool.
Kris Emerson, a loving husband, father of four, and gospel preacher, takes a few minutes to go over some important life changing and spirituals insights.
- How to use affirmations to strengthen your resolve
- Why are affirmations cool and useful for everyone
- How to connect God's power to your own
- How to create accountability in your day through affirmations
- What are the most effective affirmations in Scripture you can use today