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Sunday, November 1, 2015

I Need Some Positive Affirmation!

(you believe that, right?)

I’ve noticed some things about all the different video games that are out there, especially the ones with multiple levels.  Have you even observed how often they love to tell you how great you are?  You complete a simple puzzle, and fireworks appear on the screen, stars start exploding, playing cards dance all over the screen and you are told time and again that you were incredible, fanstastic, super, STUPENDOUS!  I’ve noticed that in a certain card game I play, even when I have the worst set of turns I’ve ever had and the game quickly comes to an end, I’m still told “good game!”  I keep waiting for a computer geek to come running down the center of my yard to high five me as he or she passes by me.

Every time I am around one of these games, I always wonder if anybody every really believes those things.  I mean, it’s like the principle of positive reinforcement run amuck!    It makes me wonder if there are people out there really that desperate for approval.  

Sadly, I have known individuals who in their lives get little or no positive support.  When that is true of a marriage, it often ends in adultery or divorce, or both.  

While it is hard to believe that anyone takes any of those comments seriously, I do think the fact that those comments are so pervasively included, reminds us that people need love support, affirmation and encouragement.  People everywhere long for those things.  If that is true, as I believe it is, let me ask, where do you get those positive supports in your life?  How are you doing at investing them into the lives of those you love?

Those questions are especially poignant for individuals in the midst of divorce, because they have generally just experienced a very traumatic form of rejection and hurt.  In the midst of the experience, the traumatized individual has suddenly lost what may be their main support of affirmation and support in their lives.  It is important that the individual find sources of support and encouragement to help fill the vacuum left behind.  Those of you who know individuals in this state may not have the slightest clue how important even the simplest gesture of kindness can be to someone struggling in divorce.  

Yet, I would suggest that we must not be individuals who are so focused on receiving the love and affirmation we need, that we neglect the importance of providing that same love and affirmation to those we care about most.  As well as others who happen to be around us who also could benefit from our encouragement.  For some of them, they may need the unique affirmation that only you can provide.  Neglecting to provide it for them is a tragic mistake and missed opportunity.

Of course, the greatest affirmation any of us could ever know is to be found in the recognition and experience of the love of God for us, demonstrated most profoundly at the cross of Jesus.   Passages like Romans 5:6-8, John 3:16-17, Ephesians 3:16-18, Matthew 10:29-31 and Romans 8:31-39 are but a sampling of a Bible filled with demonstration of God’s love for us and the incredible value he places on each and every one of our lives.  

Don’t get your affirmation from gimmicky compliments in video games or other such shallow experiences.  And don’t let you the ones you love have to resort to that either.  God wants us all to move to a higher level as well, in something more than just a game, and he wants us to be participants in the wonderful work of the giving and receiving of meaningful affirmation and love….even if those you thought would be there have decided to walk away.

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