It can be so easy to get trapped in the vicious cycle of wondering what people think.
For the past two months, the Lord has been asking me, “Will you let my affirmation of you be enough?” And not once have I had the guts to answer him honestly. Even now, I just want to walk away from the question and pretend that he doesn’t keep asking me.
I feel like I’m starting to understand the power of affirmation, and how easy it is to be ruled by its presence. Hunger for affirmation has saturated almost every part of my life. While receiving affirmation isn’t wrong of me, I have believed this lie: that I could fill my soul on the affirmations that come from the lips of people. Rookie mistake, because lips that can speak affirmation can also speak rejection. It’s easy to let those affirmations and rejections define me and shape my growth.
My mind replays those moments of affirmation and rejection, like treasures to hold on to. Some of those moments I want to keep close to my heart. They remind me of the truth of God’s presence in my life. They are tokens that mile-mark growth in my friendships. But, how much more often do I replay those moments than my encounters with Jesus? How much more often should I let my mind recount the promises that the Lord has reminded me of in the quiet moments than the quiet moments I have with friends? How much more are the affirmations of Jesus than the affirmations of people?
The good thing about grace is that it gives me opportunity to backtrack with the Lord. He doesn’t scold me. He doesn’t look at me untrustingly. He doesn’t spit out “I-told-you-sos.” He. Just. Welcomes. He takes my dejection and transforms it into joy. He exhorts me again, saying,
Will I let the Lord’s affirmations of me be enough? The Lord whose word is always true, always pure. Always good. Provider of every need. My strength. Comforter. Protector. My wonder.
Today, I think I will.