Affirm It

Sometimes we don’t realize how much people need to hear from us.

The brilliance of what Ben is doing with mentoring is that he’s affirming individuals that God has placed in his life.

Very few people (at least, in my experience) really do that anymore.

Oh, we want to believe we do. We speak nice and easy words. Have you noticed? We’ve come up with a whole slew of catchy Christian phrases that may be well-intended and may (or may not, depending) be true, but have become so overused and trite that they are simply annoying. You can probably name as many as I can. My personal favorite?–Let go and Let God! (Really? As if God is somehow not in control? As if He ceases to be sovereign when I freak out and try to make things happen my own way? Yeah…it’s not really like that, folks. God is still God, even when I don’t align myself with His will and sovereignty.)

I remember the first time I understood someone as affirming me. I had “left” the Church. I was struggling with God’s name. One afternoon, I was visiting Pastor Gordy in his office, borrowing a book from his library, checking out his old Bibles, and he spoke words I’ll never forget:

“I trust the Holy Spirit with you.”

You want affirmation? That was it for me. It was the recognition that someone else saw that God still had a purpose and a desire for me; that even if *I* screwed up, God was still at work in my life. It didn’t take a sermon. It didn’t take months of talking and analyzing (even though Gordy did allow me to talk and analyze quite a bit). It didn’t take proof. It happened in a single moment. Gordy trusted the Holy Spirit with me. At that moment, even though I would go on to struggle with the same questions for several years, something settled in my own spirit. 

Affirmation.

Sometimes it is difficult. Sometimes it comes at great personal expense. Sometimes…sometimes there aren’t words strong enough to say what needs to be heard.

And then, sometimes…it doesn’t have anything to do with words. Sometimes it has only to do with the recognition that someone is committed to you. Sometimes it changes your life to know that the person looking into your eyes believes that God has created you to reflect some unique aspect of His character.

This is, in my opinion, what Christianity needs to look like in modern America. We can call it mentoring, if we want; or discipleship; or accountability. Whatever label you want to put on it, I think it is really just…the fellowship of Believers. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.

Or…it should be.

I think.

Maybe.

Am I wrong?

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6 thoughts on “Affirm It

  1. Mentoring – discipleship – accountability – the fellowship of Believers; all of the above, Sarah. When “the Body” accomplishes these within it’s ranks, amazing things begin to happen. Spiritual Maturity becomes commonplace and is highly contagious.

    Ephesians 4:13 “And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature.” GNB

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Dave is right! But it’s sad to say there’s not much of it going on in many churches/denominations.

    By the way, being a caring member of “the Body of Christ”, are things going okay with you?

    Shalom!!!
    Steve

    • Steve, I appreciate you asking.

      Things are very difficult right now. I am struggling with a lot of things, and feeling very alone.

      Pax, brother.

      • “I am struggling with a lot of things, and feeling very alone.”

        Dear Sarah, obviously, you are not alone even though your flesh crys it out. Paul states he is in a race – we all are – but to stop running is rarely an option. We, are always alone in any race – it’s an individual struggle. Close friends, brothers and sisters may offer comfort, but we stand alone, especially at the Jugement Seat of Christ. The Lord is our only source of eternal comfort – every one else will eventually dissapoint you and all will die. Only He may be completely trusted.

        The Amplified below may be wordy, but leaves little doubt as to His Words.

        Heb 13:5 Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] [Josh. 1:5.]
        Heb 13:6 So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? [Ps. 27:1;118:6.]

        Several conditions are clearly stated in vs. 5. (greed and contentment)

        The triple negative in vs. 5 gives enormous strength to his intent.

        He loves and so do I,

        Dave Wade

      • Although God’s not much of a talker, He’s always there when you feel alone.

        “Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
        Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
        Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
        In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.”

        May His peace be upon you!
        Steve

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