I would have to say that in my experience of the world, affirmation is rare. I often hear praise of something accomplished, perceived or otherwise, or support that a particular perspective is being portrayed. However, I rarely if ever hear genuine affirmation. When a person directs truthful, genuine, ‘personal recognising’ statements that build you up, or simply support your standing, you have been affirmed.

When I was first introduced to the power of affirmation, it was described to me as being a rare thing. I have to say I didn’t quite believe it. I began to include a lesson on affirmation in some classes I was running and the results were quite incredible. In the scores of people I’ve introduced to affirmation, only one didn’t see what all the fuss was about. She had received affirmation her whole life. A truly blessed person. Everyone else had a life changing experience. From people who had never been affirmed in their whole lives breaking down in tears to others who still carry around the little affirmation given them by me during the class.

You see, I would get to know the people in the class, paying attention to them as a person and looking for positive things with which to affirm. I would then sit and write a short affirmation for everyone. It’s not that hard once you start and the benefits are life changing, especially for the person receiving the affirmation, but also for you. In order to affirm, you have to look past yourself to others, pay attention and actively listen. These three things help make you a better person.

So, how do you begin the process of becoming one who affirms?

Let’s start with a definition. An affirmation is using positive words to build others and help them to be successful. There is a little acronym that can be used to help frame affirmation properly

  • PPersonality / Character the best things that people like to hear about are comments on character qualities or personality traits.
  • AAccomplishmentsobserve and note their “accomplishments.”
  • TThings – Encourage others by noticing the important “things” in their lives.

There are basically two important steps for building an atmosphere of approval and affirmation.

  1. Look for good Character Qualities
  2. Give honest, sincere affirmation.

Now, if you have never done this before, know where to start really helps. Below is a list of character qualities with references from the Set-Apart Scriptures to give you an idea of what to look for.

Now you might be thinking that in your search for healing and wholeness, you want someone to affirm you, rather than you affirming another. While being affirmed is life changing, being one who affirms makes you a conduit of blessing to another that will always have a positive influence on you as well. Focusing away from your problems and looking to affirm someone else can be just the light you need in your darkness to carry on. Introduce light in to your situation and it simply dispels darkness. It’s an eternal principle!

Character Quality Description Reference
Alertness Being aware of that which is taking place around me so that I can have the right responses. Mark 14:38


Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided attention to their words & emotions. Hebrews 2:1


Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving Philippians 2:20-21


Confidence that what I have to say or do is true and right and just in the sight of God. Acts 4:29


Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions. Proverb 19:2


Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others. 1 John 3:17


Realising God has provided everything that I need for my present happiness. 1 Timothy 6:8


Approaching a need, a task, an idea from a new perspective. Romans 12:2


The ability to finalise difficult decisions based on the will and ways of God. James 1:5


Limiting my freedom in order not to offend the tastes of those God has called me to serve. Romans 14:21


Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice. Psalm 15:4


Purposing to accomplish God’s goals in God’s time regardless of the opposition. 2 Timothy 4:7, 8


Seeing tasks as special assignments from the Lord and working hard at them. Colossians 3:23


The God-given ability to understand why things happen. 1 Samuel 16:7


Avoiding words, actions, & attitudes which might bring undesirable consequences. Proverb 22:3


The inward strength to withstand stress to accomplish God’s best. Galatians 6:9


Expressing with my spirit the joy of my soul. 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 19


Visualising what God intends to do in a given situation and acting in harmony with it. Hebrews 11:1


Not setting my affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others. Colossians 3:2


Clearing the record of my offenders and allowing God to love them through me. Ephesians 4:32


Realising that all I have belongs to God and using it for His purposes. 1 Corinthians 9:6


Showing personal care and concern in meeting the needs of others. 1 Thessalonians 2:7


Making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life. 1 Corinthians 4:7


Cheerfully sharing physical and spiritual refreshment with those God brings into my life. Hebrews 13:2


Recognising that God and others are actually responsible for the achievements in my life. James 4:6


Recognising and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it. Romans 12:21


The spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with the Lord. Psalm 16:11


Personal responsibility to God’s unchanging laws. Micah 6:8


Giving to other’s basic needs without having as my motive personal reward. 1 Corinthians 13:3


Using difficult times to show my commitment to God and those He called me to serve. John 15:13


Yielding my personal rights and expectations to God. Psalm 62:5


Intruding into another’s life in order to lead them closer to God by considering how I can stir them toward love and good works. Hebrews 10:24-25


Freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely-appointed authority. 2 Corinthians 10:5


Preparing myself and my surroundings so that I will achieve the greatest efficiency. 1 Corinthians 14:40


Accepting a difficult situation from God without giving Him a deadline to remove it. Romans 5:3, 4


Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks. 2 Timothy 2:24


Showing high esteem for other people and their time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1


Wise use of that which others would normally overlook or discard.

Luke 16:10


Knowing and doing what both God and others are expecting from me.

Romans 14:12


Knowing God is working through people and events to make me Christ-like.

Proverb 23:17, 18


Structuring my life around that which is eternal and cannot be destroyed or taken away.

John 6:27


Instant obedience to the initial promptings of God’s Spirit.

Galatians 5:24, 25


Exercising my senses so I can perceive the true spirit and emotions of those around me.

Romans 12:15


Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.

1 Peter 1:22


Knowing what will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.

Proverb 18:15


Not letting myself or others spend that which is not necessary.

Luke 16:11


Accepting others as unique characters in varying degrees of maturity.

Philippians 2:2


Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.

Ephesians 4:25


The moral excellence and purity of spirit that radiate from my life as I obey God’s Word.

2 Peter 1:5-8


Seeing and responding to life situations from God’s frame of reference.

Proverb 9:10

Every time a person praises me for something, I just accept it as a flower. Then at the end of the day I put all the flowers together into a lovely bouquet, get on my knees, and say, ‘Here, Father, this bouquet belongs to You. The lovely things people have said about me, they were really saying about You. Thank you, Father, for using me.’ ” Corrie Ten Boom

Be blessed Aryeh.