Book 8 of 52: Practicing Affirmation (Crabtree via Crossway)

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A book about affirmation – does that mean that this review needs to be affirming?  Probably!

My first impressions of this book, stylistically, were not the greatest, but I plugged away.  And I am so glad I did.  This book is one of the most helpful books that I have read to date in my day-to-day life/speech/relationships with other people.  Thank you, Sam!

Here is my favorite quote of the whole book:

“One you have gained a hearing, say things worth hearing.  Once people tune in to your radio frequency, give them something worth listening to.  Point people in the direction of supremely valuing the supremely valuable, namely Christ Jesus.  We are called not only to avoid bad speech, but to utter good speech.”

This good speech is not “Go Gators!  or good luck on that test, or anything like. 

Good speech is the tagline of the title: God-centered praise of Those who are not God.

Here are some examples: Thank you for being diligent in planning.   Thank you for showing contentment because God wants us to be content.  Thank you for leading well.  Thank you for being hospitable.  Thank you for displaying kindness to your brother.  Thank you for showing sweetness to me in how you answered me this morning.  Thank you for taking the time to listen to me, for showing grace toward me and putting yourself under my authority.

Do you see where Sam is going with this book?  Our applauding others is not to hear ourselves talk, make ourselves look good, or even make them look good – it is to make Christ look good.  Bring His glory to the forefront of this broken-down world we live in.

This book, especially toward the end, holds very practical ideas of implimenting this in your every day life: whether job, marriage, parenting, friendships, church roles, serving, etc. 

If you are a person who loves words of affirmation or even may have trouble affirming others in your life, this would be a good book to challenge you and the motivation of your heart with.