Affirmations Are Attached to Work

Affirmation Image

Come on! Say it with me!

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”

Come on, say it with me!

Yes, I grew up in the generation of Saturday Night Live quoting teenagers. As a high school student with low self-esteem (who had never watched an episode of SNL and had NO idea who the characters were or what the skits my peers recited were like) I repeated this phrase over and over and over.

Perhaps if I said it enough I would believe it. Perhaps if I said it enough, people would like me.

That never really worked out for me, but in all honesty, I never truly believed it.

Were you a part of that generation? Did you repeat that line over and over again?

I have to wonder just how many people know those words, have said those words, and yet have never internalized any one part of that phrase. Just last week I listened as a student told me, “It doesn’t matter. I’ll never get all of it done in time.” I looked them straight in the eye and responded, “How sad. You are right. You won’t now because you just told yourself you wouldn’t. What an awful thing to set yourself up for.” The student looked back at me in disgust. “Just because I say something out loud doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. I can sit here and say I’m going to get a million dollars over and over, but it won’t make it true.” I smile. “If you continue saying that to yourself, hearing your own voice say it, will it make you want it more or less?” “More.” The response is given grudgingly. “I guess.” “And the fact that you are wanting to get that million dollars more every day, plus the fact that others around you have also heard you say you’re going to get it, are you going to sit in this same chair and just keep saying it until a million dollars falls out of the sky into your lap? Or are you going to get up, work towards it, and go get it yourself?”

No, I Wasn’t Wanted–I Was Selected!

Why didn’t my repetition from SNL work? Was it my unbelief? Did I not say it enough times? Perhaps it was the fact I was simply repeating something I heard from others but had never seen or experienced myself. No. There is no work in that affirmation. There is no reason in that affirmation. There are only empty words that are not true.

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Jeremiah 1:4-5 KJV

One of my favorite verses in scripture comes from Jeremiah. Perhaps because I was one of those “oops” conceptions I cling to this scripture. If it hadn’t been for me, my parents likely wouldn’t have married. My feelings of low self-esteem are deeply rooted. I wasn’t planned means I wasn’t wanted. But then there’s Jeremiah 1. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”

I was planned. You were planned.

We were not only wanted, but KNOWN, prior to conception.

“And before you were born I claimed you as mine and set you apart,”

Not only wanted, SELECTED. Chosen.

“And I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

Then handed a job that hasn’t been earned.

See, this is an affirmation. God spoke it, but even then it doesn’t magically happen unless Jeremiah or me or you believes it and carries it forward.

I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not even sure what good and smart are. Scripture actually says “…there is none good but one, that is, God.” Mark 10:18. But I can speak because of what He has done in and through me. Are you stuck in a pattern of repeating empty words with no work attached? What words can you speak this morning to affirm what God is doing in you? Could you spare a moment to look through the blog posts below and click the <3 on your favorite 3? Pretty please? Passing out love votes ends at noon on Wednesday, July 1, 2014.

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  • I like how the readings are the start look like ransom notes.

  • You are such an encouragement. Philippine 4:8 is my favorite verse.
    Have a blessed week, Carrie.

  • I agree with you about thinking in a negative way. The brain is like a computer. If you input, ‘I can’t do it’, then the brain will work toward that result.

  • There was a book called “The Secret” popular several years ago. I know a number of people who benefited greatly by the book and others that didn’t. What was the difference? Were the success stories more realistic or did they, perhaps, choose affirmations that they deeply believed in? I know I used affirmations to help lose weight almost three years ago, but, at the same time, I also used Weight Watchers. You are right – not only do you have to affirm, but you have to do the hard work.

  • My sister used to say that all the time. What comes out is what we focus on. When my sister was so ill, she would never say she felt sick. She took it to the extreme and smiled serenely nearly all the time and when she couldn’t, she would just stay silent. But she definitely focused on joy. And she found it even if it was the smallest thing, she found it. A look at her grandkids, information from a friend. One of my friends went over to check what my sister felt was a dislocated shoulder. It had been too long to do anything about and her bones were way too fragile to move it. She smiled and thanked my friend for the information. No one would have ever guessed if she was disappointed. My friend couldn’t believe she lived for a year longer with the pain and yet was so grateful for her coming over to see her. My friend asked if she was for real? Yes, she was. She lived a life full of promise and lived with joy even as her body failed her. I remember that about her all the time and am grateful for her example.

  • Thank you for sharing your story… But of COURSE you were wanted. Just today, your words reached people who were meant to read them.

    Thank you for existing.

  • Powerful post about self esteem. You raise a lot of pertinent points and tie it in very nicely with the lord’s teachings. Thanks for writing it and making me think positively about my Christian faith today.