Why Should We Affirm People?

John Piper writes, "When our mouths are empty of praise for others, it is probably because our hearts are full of love for self." In Sam Crabtree's new book, Practicing Affirmation (foreword by John Piper), Crabtree explains the difference between godly affirmation and the kind of affirmation that puffs up. In order to affirm people, we must first learn to affirm God. For what should God be praised? (Ps. 150:2). Crabtree argues that "God is not given the praise he deserves when we ignore or deny the work he is doing in people."

So why should we affirm others?

  • When we commend God's image in people, God is glorified, and that's why we were made—to glorify God.

  • By commending Christlike qualities, and celebrating them when we spot them, affirmation showcases the character of God, giving him honor for the kind of God he is.

  • It earns us the right standing from which to make suggestions. It gains us a hearing.

  • It lifts morale—in the home, the office, church, locker room.

  • It energizes people. It motivates them to action.

  • It makes us easier to live with.

  • It helps us practice looking at others positively.

  • It constructively uses time that could have been wasted on complaining.

Learn more about Practicing Affirmation.

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