Affirmations – A Discussion with Youth

Tonight I’m once again leading the youth group at our church. Tonight we’re going to talk about Affirmations. An affirmation is telling yourself, in times of doubt, that which you know to be true at other times. This takes some forethought, of course, because that time of doubt when you need that nugget of truth is not the time to go discovering it. Tonight I’m going to talk with the youth about some of the affirmations we may already hold (positive and negative) and work with them to develop a couple on a note card they can take home and put on their bathroom mirror or something.

I love this popular youtube video about the young girl who knows all about these statements of truth. Even if this is prepared for video, the fact that this girl has these statements memorized and can recite them with passion and emotion makes me say “Bravo, parents. You’re doing well.”

I’m not a big fan of making statements about who you want to be and feeling that just because you say it sincerely of often enough that it will become reality. I am a fan of dreaming, and am also learning even now how to take those dreams, crystallize them into goals, and see them come to be reality.

But if something’s already true, why do we need to put it into a verbal sentence, much less write it down, and even less than that, put it somewhere we see it every day? The fact is, “statements of truth” are proposed to us every day. Whether it’s the massive amounts of stories on the news telling us that “my future is insecure” or “school is a dangerous place.” We get these messages from parents, who while they are trying to teach us invaluable lessons about manners and maturity, often fail to affirm us as we grow up. Instead, we hear as a child, “don’t touch that” or “stop talking so much,” which in turn, later in life turns into “I’m a clumsy dufus” and “I don’t have anything to say that so-and-so would like to hear.” We are surrounded by negative statements about ourselves, and they DO affect us. The exercise of examining ourselves, finding what is true, and then putting it into words we either repeat often or see often is invaluable to combatting this negativity that is pounded into us every day.

Here are a few affirmations of my own… the first I’ve had drilled into me every time I view my facebook profile for over a year, and the others are relatively new, and a joy for me to read.

  • I am an adopted son of God, brave and courageous.
  • I am a success. I set goals that are important to me, do what is necessary to achieve them, and finish strong.
  • I am a loving husband and involved father, who places my family above all other relationships in life.

I as I looked at these last week, I saw some of the negative statements that I was either brought up to believe (intentionally or not) or came to believe through past experiences:

  • I am a disappointment and a failure. I have nothing to offer.
  • I am too tired and busy to figure out how to accomplish this goal.

So in the youth group tonight, we’re going to work on some of these statements. We did this in a round-about-way a few weeks ago when we watched the video “God’s Chisel” by the Skit Guys. The statement of truth that day was something like, “I am God’s original masterpiece.” How true, yet how often we believe otherwise.

The Bible are filled with affirmations. Affirmations by psalms men like David about their true self, and affirmations about who God is, even when He seems anything but. Just a few examples:

  • Psalm 131:1-3: O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.
  • Proverbs 16: 3: Commit your work to the Lord and then your plans will succeed.
  • 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

There are many verses that while not directly “affirmation statements” are very true and appilcable, and could easily be turned into such. For example (source):

  • I can see the Kingdom of God because I am born again. John 3:3
  • I don’t worry about everyday life. God knows my needs and meets them because I make His Kingdom my primary concern. Matthew 6:25-33
  • Jesus shows himself to me because I love him. John 14:21
  • Because Jesus died for my sins, I am no longer separated from God. I live in close union with him. Romans 5:10
  • The fruit I produce brings great joy to God, my Father in Heaven. John 15:8
  • God’s power works best in my weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

There are many more affirmations-from-verses on this source site, and I’ll include them following the end of this post.

So this is what we’re going to review at church tonight with the youth. We’re then going to take some steps to make our own affirmations, based on facts of truth we know about ourselves, Bible verses, or a combination thereof. We’ll “supercharge” these affirmations by writing them down, saying them, and adding emotion to otherwise bland statements of truth. This site describes these superchargers well.

Affirmation Mirror work

Perhaps the most powerful way of using affirmations is to state them whilst looking in the mirror. Some of the most important messages you have received have been from people looking you straight in the eye. By looking yourself in the eye as you state your affirmation you magnify the importance of the message to yourself.

Written Affirmations

A great way of keeping your affirmation at the forefront of your mind is to write them down, leave notes or cards around so that you notice them throughout the day. The AffirmIt! program uses mobile technology to text powerful messages to you with the goal of keeping your mind focussed on your intention. Another idea is to write your affirmation down many times (10-20), this helps imprint it on your mind.

Say Affirmations with Passion

Say your affirmations with passion, the higher your emotional state as you say them, the more effective they are.

Sing or Chant Affirmations

One of the most effective ways to use affirmations is to sing them! The mind is much more accepting of affirmation messages when they are sung.

I’m going to include myself in some of these exercises. Even though I know some of what i want to remember, it still lingers on a sheet of paper buried in a notebook. I’m looking forward to putting in on a 3×5 card and placing it around my home, and then encouraging others in my family and circle of friends to do the same.

More Affirmations from Scripture

  • I can see the Kingdom of God because I am born again. John 3:3
  • I don’t worry about everyday life. God knows my needs and meets them because I make His Kingdom my primary concern. Matthew 6:25-33
  • Jesus shows himself to me because I love him. John 14:21
  • Because Jesus died for my sins, I am no longer separated from God. I live in close union with him. Romans 5:10
  • The fruit I produce brings great joy to God, my Father in Heaven. John 15:8
  • God’s power works best in my weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • Through the energy of Christ working powerfully in me, I teach others His truths. Colossians 1:29
  • I have been saved, not by works, but grace, so that I might do good works. Ephesians 2:9-10
  • My faith makes me whole in spirit, soul and body. Mark 5:34
  • When I call out to God He answers me. He tells me things I wouldn’t know otherwise. Jeremiah 33:3
  • Because I place my hope in the Lord my strength is renewed. Isaiah 40:31
  • As I follow Jesus…..as I walk with him, I have peace. Luke 24:36
  • Because I obey Jesus I remain in his love. John 15:10
  • The cross of Christ is my power. 1 Corinthians 1:17
  • My God meets all my needs. Philippians 4:19
  • God is my refuge and strength …. always ready to help me in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1
  • God gives me strength when I am weary and increases my power when I am weak. Isaiah 40:29 
  • Because I place my hope in God, I can soar like an eagle, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
  • I set my heart and mind on things above, not earthly things. This gives me peace. Colossians 3:1-2
  • I guard my heart because it determines the course of my life. Proverbs 4:23
  • I trust God at all times because he is my refuge. Psalm 62:8
  • As I lose my life for Jesus’ sake, I find it. Matthew 10:39
  • God keeps me in perfect peace because I trust in Him and fix my thoughts on Him. Isaiah 26:3
  • God is able to do immeasurably more in my life than I could ever imagine. Ephesians 3:20
  • I experience true life when I deny myself, turn from my selfish ways and follow Jesus. Matthew 16:24-25
  • I have the anointing of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. He teaches me truth and empowers me to live a full life. 1 John 2:27
  • I could not experience an abundant life except for Jesus and the cross. Matthew 16:24
  • I love God’s principles and meditate on them all day long. Psalm 119:97
  • I live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 12:7
  • I follow Jesus, no matter where he leads me. Matthew 6:20
  • The same love that God has for Jesus is in me. John 17:26
  • I am being made holy by God’s truths. John 17:17
  • It is by the grace of God and his love that I am saved by my faith. Ephesians 2:5
  • I can approach God directly with freedom and confidence through faith in Jesus. Ephesians 3:12
  • I worship the Lord my God and serve only him. Luke 4:8
  • I have great joy because I obey God’s commands and remain in His love! John 15:11
  • Because I have written love and faithfulness on the tablet of my heart I have favor with God. Proverbs 3:3
  • The “fullness of God” is available to me because I am deeply rooted in the love of Jesus. Ephesians 3:17-19
  • As I give up control, release my life 2 God and allow Jesus to live through me, God-sized things happen. Galatians 2:20
  • I do not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
  • Because I believe in God and in Jesus, trouble leaves my heart. John 14:1
  • God pours out his love into my heart by the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5
  • My life is bringing honor to Christ. God likes this.  Philippians 1:20
  • Because I fear the Lord and shun evil, my body is healthy and my bones are nourished. Proverbs 3:7-8
  • As I follow Jesus and walk in his Way of Holiness, gladness and joy overtake me. Isaiah 35:8-10
  • The Lord is my good Shepherd. He provides for all of my needs. Psalm 23:1
  • I was made in the image of God. How cool is that! Genesis 1:27
  • God reveals his spiritual truths to me by his Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:13
  • In God I live and move and exist. Acts 17:28
  • I may never win an Olympic medal, but I’ve won a crown of everlasting joy because I know Christ. Isaiah 51:11
  • I continue to work out my full salvation as God works in me according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
  • God does not look at my outward appearance. He looks at my heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
  • Because I seek the Lord with all my heart, I lack no good thing Psalm 34:10
  • The key to my fruit-bearing life is hearing God’s truth and understanding it. Matthew 13:26
  • When I humble myself before God in prayer, he hears me and I gain understanding. Daniel 10:12
  • My faith, that saves and transforms me, comes by reading and understanding God’s Word. Romans 10:12
  • God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in me, opens my mind to the deep truths in God’s Word. 1 John 2:27
  • I’m like a tree, planted by streams of water. My life bears fruit and prospers because I meditate on God’s Word. Psalm 1:1-2
  • More than anything else I try to guard my heart because it determines how I live life. Proverbs 4:23
  • I don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants me 2 do. Ephesians 5:17
  • God’s Spirit in me is greater than any other spirit in the world. He enables me to live a victorious life. 1 John 4:4
  • I am experiencing real Life – as Jesus intended. 1 John 5:12
  • The Holy Spirit helps me understand God’s truth when I read the Bible. John 16:12
  • Experiencing God and his truths, not knowledge about him and them, gives me abundant LIFE. John 17:3
  • Because I feed on bread that comes from heaven (Jesus) I have life…. and will live eternally. John 6:57-58
  • I give thanks to God because he is good and his love endures forever. Jeremiah 33:11
  • I don’t hide my light under a basket. I let it shine for all to see so everyone will praise my Father. Matthew 5:15-16
  • God forgives my wrongdoings and never remembers my sins. Hebrews 8:12
  • I am a new person, complete in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • If I don’t stand firmly in my faith, I won’t stand at all. Isaiah 7:9
  • I am able to keep my ways pure, but only by living according to God’s Word. Psalm 119:9
  • I run along the paths of God’s commands because He has set my heart free. Psalm 119:32
  • God is faithful. He’ll complete the good work that he has begun in me. Philippians 1:6
  • I alone am not competent . My competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5
  • I give my anxieties to God and know that he’ll take them because he loves me. This gives me peace. 1 Peter 5:7
  • The Lord stands at my side and gives me strength to share his Good News with others. 2 Timothy 4:17
  • As I lose my life for Christ’s sake, I find true life in him. Matthew 10:39
  • I have life, now & eternally, because of God’s grace. It’s not because of anything I have done. Eph 2:8-9
  • Because I’ve walked through Jesus’ gate, I’ve found green pastures. John 10:9
  • When I’m distressed, I cry to God for help and he hears my voice. Psalm 18:6
  • God quiets my deep inner hunger because I am cherished by him. Psalm 17:14
  • When I cry to God for relief from the deepest pits of my life, he hears me. Lamentations 3:55-56
  • When I’m distressed, I cry to God 4 help and he hears my voice. Psalm 18:6
  • If I don’t stand firmly in my faith, I won’t stand at all. Isaiah 7:9
  • God is love and he is in me, so I am love. 1 John 4:16
  • Thank you Jesus for counting me faithful and putting me into ministry. 1 Timothy 1:12
  • Jesus died and rose from the grave for me. I’m blessed because I believe this and have not seen him. John 20:29
  • Though I have not seen the resurrected Christ, I believe in Him and am therefore blessed. John 20:29
  • I am protected by the name of Jesus. John 17:12
  • The Lord is good! I’ve experienced him. Psalm 34:8
  • I have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
  • Because of what Christ did on the cross at Calvary, I’m able to have a new life. John 10:10
  • When Christ died I was set free from the power of sin. Romans 6:6
  • My negative feelings don’t come from God so I don’t have to put up with them! 2 Timothy 1:7
  • Because God’s Spirit lives in me, my spirit is alive and I have true life. Romans 8:11
  • Some day I’ll be in heaven with my Father because I know the way there – Jesus! John 14:6
  • Jesus Christ gives me victory over sin and death. 1 Corinthians 15:57
  • When Jesus knocks on my heart’s door I hear him, let him in and have fellowship with him. Revelation 3:20
  • Because I follow Jesus, I know his voice and he personally directs my steps. John 10:3
  • I do not fear death because it’s my doorway to heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:55
  • The power of God works through me as I affirm that it’s His treasure inside this jar of clay. 2 Corinthians 4:7
  • As I cast my cares and burdens to God, He sustains me and I have peace. Psalm 55:22
  • I am not afraid or discouraged because God goes before me and is always with me. Deut 31:8
  • I have entered the kingdom of God like a little child. Mark 10:15
  • My kind words are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones of others. Proverbs 16:24
  • God blesses me with peace and gives me strength. Psalm 29:11
  • As I wait on the Lord and am courageous, God will strengthen my heart. Psalm 27:14
  • My God is compassionate and merciful – slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. Psalm 103:8
  • I try to spend time with wise people. This helps me become even wiser. Proverbs 13:20
  • I know the scripture, yes, but more importantly I know Jesus, and in Him I have life. John 5:39-40

 

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