What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? James 2:14 (MSG)
You Are Made From Love – Affirmation and Action Series – Part 2
Everything you say and do affirms something in one way or another.
Yesterday I mentioned that my son dropped his Nintendo Switch, and in quick succession, affirmed some things about himself as a result:
I always make mistakes
I’m going to break it.
His actions confirmed his words (clumsy, mistake, broken), and his words confirmed his action: a loop of proof was formed.
What do you say about yourself? About others? Based on actions?
Last week, I had to send an email asking for extra time on a project. When the extra time was up, I forgot to send said important email with the completed project. When I realized and sent the email, I sent the wrong information. But I was out all day without access to my emails and didn’t realize until much later. I had to resend the email, and the information, much later than it should have been sent, which created some awkward problems.
And the words I was saying about myself as a result?
I always make mistakes.
I should give up, I’m no good at this.
I’m a burden on everyone.
I thought I was an independent, strong, capable, woman; I guess I was wrong.
And other such lovely things.
What is true?
I did make a mistake. There’s no denying that. But what else did those words add that don’t belong in my heart and life?
I’ve always been skeptical of affirmations. The ones found in self-help books, on Pinterest, and by using #affirmations. The ones some encourage you to employ when you’re stuck on a bad action/talk loop. It’s been the same with “faith statements” I’ve heard in church since I was a kid. It’s as if those declarations and affirmations were more wishes:
“I am healed” – when I wasn’t.
“I am rich” – when I was broke.
“I am so good” – when I so wasn’t.
You get the idea. You’ve heard them, seen them… if you’re like me, you may have even said them once or twice.
There is nothing powerful about saying you’re healthy when you’re not, or that you have loads of money when you don’t, that you’re fine and good and okay when you're anything and everything but.
But there is a way to talk about your life, your actions, habits, defaults, hurts, pains, joys, sorrows – all of it – that confirms a greater truth. A truth beyond the circumstances of your life. A truth that I would say is almost the only thing we can be completely sure of:
Divine love is for you, within you, and around you. It’s unconditional, creative, steadfast, and accessible. No hoops to jump through, nothing to prove.
John records Jesus as saying:
“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you… (15:4)
I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. (15:9)
Remember the root command: Love one another. (15:17)
Most nights as I’m tucking my kids into bed, I tell them:
You are made from love, of love, for love.
It’s the base note. The foundation. The thing that’s truer than all the other things. God in me, me in God, God in you: love.
Love doesn’t change the fact that my son clumsily dropped his game, or that I couldn’t get my email act together, or that you’re sick, or that things are hard, that there are challenges before us and around us… But it sure does change (changing) the way I talk to myself, and to others, through the different situations and seasons life brings.
If we’re going to start affirming anything, let us affirm the love that has always been, and always will be, ours.
Written by Lizzy Milani