Emancipation from the Affirmation Trap

Imagine with me, for a moment, a kind of life where people's opinions no longer matter. A life lived free from the affirmation trap! Is it possible? I believe that Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, and Oswald Chambers discovered how...Read More at SarahKoontz.com

 

Imagine with me, for a moment, a kind of life where people’s opinions no longer matter.

A type of existence that is completely satisfied apart from the validation of colleagues and peers.

To wake up each morning at peace, filled with hope and purpose for the day, knowing that nothing and no one holds the power to derail you.

 

Oh, how I long for such a life!

 

Unfortunately, it all seems so out of reach.

Something to be longed for but never achieved.

How can a person possibly survive without validation and affirmation from others?

 

 

Nothing makes me feel more valuable and worthy than when I receive words of affirmation from the people I respect.

 

I am a hard worker and I long for people to notice me…

…To tell me that I matter.

…To show me that I am necessary.

 

I have a confession to make; a story to share that makes me feel shallow and vulnerable.

 

But something that I must own up to if I ever want to be free from the affirmation trap.

 

Imagine with me, for a moment, a kind of life where people's opinions no longer matter. A life lived free from the affirmation trap! Is it possible? I believe that Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, and Oswald Chambers discovered how...Read More at SarahKoontz.com

 

From a young age, I was told I was beautiful and talented and could do anything I put my mind to.

Therefore, I felt beautiful and talented and capable of taking on the world!

 

I lived a validated life.

 

I received affirmation on a regular basis, and I relished in it.

Apart from that validation, I would NOT have been a confident young woman who excelled at many things.

I would not have felt beautiful, or worthy, or capable.

 

My entire identity was formed around what other people saw in me.

 

Yes, I knew Jesus.

I knew He loved me and that He wanted my identity to be tied up in Him.

But there was simply no need.

I was full, complete, lacking nothing.

 

Until, suddenly, it was all stripped away!

 

When I was 16 years old, my world crumbled.

I thought I was popular, I thought I was necessary, I thought I was irreplaceable.

But, seemingly overnight, I had become invisible.

My friendships and status simply vanished and I felt alone for the first time in my life.

 

The affirmation stopped and I was lost.

 

Grief…anger…loneliness…self-doubt…

I was drowning in a sea of emotions that I had never before experienced and I did the only thing I could think to do.

I cried out for help.

 

Imagine with me, for a moment, a kind of life where people's opinions no longer matter. A life lived free from the affirmation trap! Is it possible? I believe that Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, and Oswald Chambers discovered how...Read More at SarahKoontz.com

 

I asked God to fill the gaping hole in my life.

 

I came to him broken, truly broken for the first time in my life and He received me with open arms.

 

 

He was my lifeline at the moment I needed Him most and I do not know how I would have survived apart from His love and grace.

When Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” He meant it!

He is faithful when we are surrounded by faithlessness.

 

He loves us when we are unlovable.

 

He restores our hearts and minds when we find the strength to trust Him.

I managed to pull through that challenging season of life and eventually things did get better.

 

Unfortunately, as my circumstances improved, my deep need for Christ decreased and I fell back into the affirmation trap.

 

Yes, the affirmation trap.

For me, it will always be a trap.

Wooing me away from the Savior and into the arms (and good graces) of humanity.

As I stated at the beginning of this article, I long for the kind of existence where the opinions of others do  not matter to me.

 

 

Imagine with me, for a moment, a kind of life where people's opinions no longer matter. A life lived free from the affirmation trap! Is it possible? I believe that Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, and Oswald Chambers discovered how...Read More at SarahKoontz.com

 

I desire to be the kind of person that lives a life wholly focused on God, utterly abandoned to His purpose and calling.

But time and again, when forced to choose between God and man…I consistently choose the latter.

I crave the feeling of satisfaction that comes when someone compliments my work, tells me I look beautiful, strokes my ego.

 

The affirmation trap gets me every time.

 

I wish that I could wrap up this article by saying I have found the hidden key and freed myself from this trap.

I have not.

Not yet, anyway.

But can I tell you something?

I think there is still hope for me.

 

I cannot escape the feeling that I will, in fact, find a way to live free!

 

The most amazing truth has begun to blossom in my heart these past few weeks; a truth that  has the power to change everything for me.

If you have been following my #write31days journey, then you know I have dedicated the month of October to researching the lives of some very important figures of the Christian faith: Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, and Oswald Chambers.

 

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I have been immersing myself in their lives, searching for the reason why these specific people were capable of leaving such a remarkable legacy of faith.

 

Seriously!

To live a life and write a story that outlasts me and impacts future generations is my deepest desire.

Having that kind of lasting impact upon the Kingdom of Heaven is what my dreams are made of.

And these people succeeded at doing exactly that!

 

Imagine with me, for a moment, a kind of life where people's opinions no longer matter. A life lived free from the affirmation trap! Is it possible? I believe that Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, and Oswald Chambers discovered how...Read More at SarahKoontz.com

 

Do you know what sets them apart from you and me?

Why their lives were so meaningful and their stories so full of power?

The answer is simple, yet so profound!

 

God, in His mercy, helped each of them break free from the affirmation trap.

 

 

For Martin, it happened when he posted his 95 Thesis on the wall.

There is no way a monk would turn against the Catholic church unless He found his identity in Christ alone.

And for Aunt Fanny, it was the moment when her school superintendent pulled her aside and confronted her about the futility of living a life to please others.

She never forgot those words, and they prepared her for the good works God had planned for her life.

But the one that has reached me in the deepest place is the story of Oswald Chambers.

That man!

He lived such a small life but was utterly and completely surrendered to Christ.

He never got to see the fruits of his labors, but his words are touching millions of people even to this day.

 

He never received validation for his work here on earth.

 

And he did not want it!

That is the part that gets me.

He didn’t want it!

Because his heart belonged to God, and his mind and spirit was focused on Christ alone.

 

 

He found freedom from the affirmation trap, and never looked back.

 

And God used him in such a powerful way.

 

Imagine with me, for a moment, a kind of life where people's opinions no longer matter. A life lived free from the affirmation trap! Is it possible? I believe that Martin Luther, Fanny Crosby, and Oswald Chambers discovered how...Read More at SarahKoontz.com

 

Pray for me.

I long for emancipation!

To extinguish my desire to receive validation from men.

To live my life for Christ alone.

What a wonderful kind of life that would be.

Oh, the freedom, I can almost taste it…

Have you ever felt stuck in the affirmation trap?  Please share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments so we can learn from and encourage one another!

 

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I have shared this article at many of my favorite Faith & Family Linkups.

Article inspired by Suzie Eller’s #livefreeThursday writing prompt “Validate.”

Photo Source:  Dollar Photo Club

Sarah Koontz

About Sarah Koontz

  Sarah Koontz invites Christians of all ages to explore the beauty of God’s design. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah lives on 13-acres in South Dakota with her husband, two daughters and a rowdy flock of 30 chickens. She revels in their simple, uncluttered life. Follow Sarah on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Read Sarah's full Bio Here.

77 thoughts on “Emancipation from the Affirmation Trap

  1. Sarah, your words were both encouraging and inspiring! It has been a blessing to visit with you this morning. Thanks so much for sharing! Peace and many blessings to you, Love! 🙂

    1. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read this article today. I know it isn’t a short article by any means 🙂 I asked my best friend what I could cut to make it an easier read, and she said nothing. So I left it long, and hopefully full of hope and encouragement!

      1. You are most welcome! By no means did you need to take anything out. Every word was needed. And it was very much so encouraging. GOD bless you, beautiful Sister! 🙂

  2. Hello, cutest picture ever! Love the red coat and these pictures of a chilly fall in your area. And I love how you fleshed out our need for validation. Prayerfully, it makes us more compassionate with each other in the end and maybe more vulnerable and real too. Happy to visit you Sarah from #livefreeThursday

    1. I immediately fell in love with this series of photographs. I feel like they add a visual picture of all of the thoughts and emotions I was trying to express in the article. They are actually stock photos, so I don’t know where they were taken. I want a coat like that though!

      1. Hi!

        Thanks for your words about the images!

        It’s me in the photos and they were taken with my husband in a nice forest that surrounds a Marian Sanctuary built on the top of a mountain in the north of Portugal.

        Best regards.
        Sofia

        1. Sofia, I am so glad you found this post! Your husband’s photographs were a perfect fit for the story I was trying to tell. It was a beautiful setting, I would have loved to experience it firsthand like you did. It is wonderful to know where they were taken. I always try to search out information on the photographers who I love on Dollar Photo Club, but there isn’t always much to go on. If you guys have a website of your own, or a twitter acct, I would love to follow you. Please let me know….

  3. Sarah, your words confirm that I am in good company! I truly believe that the affirmation trap, validation from sources other than God… they are all a daily surrender. Thank you for your transparency and truth! May we all strive to surrender ourselves daily to the only One whose opinion truly matters! #livefreeThursday

    1. Yes, it is a daily battle! Once we think we’ve found our way to freedom, it sneaks up and captures us yet again. I must admit, I am sort of grateful for the re-curring nature of these evils as they force me to my knees time and again. That’s where the beauty and necessity of daily walking and surrendering to Christ comes in.

  4. Sarah, it is a trap and I love that you share it with honesty.

    I want to pour in words to others. I am grateful for those poured into me.

    Yet I don’t want that to be the foundation of my identity, or to live for external confirmation. Thanks for linking up with #livefreeThursday. <3 You are appreciated.

    1. Suzie, your comment makes me think of Luke 12:48:

      “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

      I believe we both write because God has given us so much and we long to give back to Him and His people.

      We just have to be careful not to get sidetracked by the praises of men (or lack thereof) along the way.

      It all boils down to what Crystal said above, “May we all strive to surrender ourselves daily to the only One whose opinion truly matters!”

      It’s a daily battle that’s well worth fighting.

      Thanks for all you do to inspire us to have the important conversations through #livefreeThursday.

  5. I relate to this so much, I think that everyone can to some degree. You’ve made me want to read some of the writing of Oswald Chambers now. He sounds like a fascinating, inspiring person. Thanks for being so open and for sharing!

    1. Emily, Oswald’s words are so powerful! The easiest way to start is by visiting http://www.utmost.org daily for a quick reading from My Utmost for His Highest. It only takes a few minutes, but is packed full of thought provoking and inspiring words to get you through each day.

  6. Sarah, I think your words have a message for each of us. They certainly do for me. It’s so easy to live our life, do our ministry, write our words and want the affirmation of others that we are doing a good job. Instead, we should keep our eyes focused on Jesus and doing everything for him. I think Oswald Chambers has affirmation in heaven and he is hearing those words “good and faithful servant.” Thank you for helping me refocus today.

    1. Rachel, I think I will always WANT affirmation from others. I would just like to be in a place where I no longer NEED it. To be so confident in my work and calling that I can jump off the emotional roller-coaster and instead live a life of peaceful validation through Christ. Oswald Chambers definitely learned how to do this, and I pray that both you and I can follow his footsteps. I am so glad that you stopped by and am enjoying getting to know you through your writing at http://www.rachelbritton.com. Blessings to you!

  7. It IS a daily battle and it’s frustrating to still be fighting it when I know better! Great post with lots to think about. I’ll be dreaming about that life where other people’s opinions don’t matter. Maybe we’ll all get there someday.

    1. Yes, it is difficult when you know better, yet you keep finding yourself in the same traps. It makes me think of Paul’s statement in Romans 7:15 –

      “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

      Here’s to someday being a lot sooner than both of us could imagine….by the grace of God!

      1. Amazing Sarah! As I typed my comment yesterday that exact chapter came to my mind as well. The “do-do” chapter as I fondly call it is one I need to go back to waaaay too often! God is Good!?

    1. Of course, I think that recognizing our own tendencies is often the most difficult step on our journey towards freedom. So you and I are already halfway there!

  8. Thank you for being so real, Sarah. I can definitely relate to so much of what you shared. I pray that we will both find peace and be satisfied with our true identity in Christ. Wishing you blessings!

    1. I am learning my words carry little weight if they aren’t honest and real, but it’s not always easy to admit the truth we are tempted to hide! I am so glad to hear that you could relate to my struggle, it is nice to know that I am not alone. It definitely makes the vulnerability feel worth it.

  9. Sarah, that trap you fall into threatens all of us! I have grown in this area and sometimes experience freedom, but it’s so easy for me too to fall back into that same trap. He’s working on our hearts though, remaking them so we can #livefree and #DancewithJesus. 🙂

    1. Researching these individuals for my #write31days series truly has inspired me to live for God in everything I do. I pray that grasping my own need to find freedom from the affirmation trap will encourage others to do the same. Thank you for your kind words, June.

  10. Sometimes, it’s a choice to decide you don’t need affirmation, sometimes, it’s being in a place where God is your only way out. I pray you find your way.

    1. It’s true, there are moments where our only choice is God. I think those are the most precious moments in life and where the most growth occurs! Just like it says in 2 Corinthians:

      But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  11. Ah… you speak the heart of many, including ME!! It’s IS a trap, isn’t it? One that I too, fight hard to get out of every single day…

    I love your examples of the incredible people that lived a purposeful life settled DEEP in Christ and not needing others to validate their purpose or their mission. Oh, to live completely dependent on only HIS perspective and affirmation of our existence, and not live conditionally on those opinions of others…

    If only…

    I join you in prayer for both you and I and us all!

    1. Oswald Chambers talked a lot about soaking in the Lord. He once said this to his students, “It is not the practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College— its entire strength lies in the fact that here you are immersed in the truths of God to soak in them before Him.” I think that it is through the soaking process that we find freedom from all that binds us and distracts us from God and His calling on our life.

  12. It’s interesting to see how people can still fall into the affirmation trap even if they come from a life where they received affirmation.

    Mine came from the desperation of simply wanting some kind of affirmation. I was never pretty growing up, I never had friends, and my parents believed that when I did well, I needed to then strive to do better.

    I heard more “You’re not good enough” and “you can’t do that” than I heard “wow what a great job!”. Excellence was never good enough for me. Winning awards like Employee of the Month or our Literature Award upon graduation weren’t moments that filled me with pride at my achievements; instead the voice I heard was “Okay, you did just enough, but you still have to do better.”

    That’s been the affirmation trap I’ve had to battle to get out of. I still struggle. Even as a married woman, building my life with my husband, I often find myself saying that unless my parents say I did good enough, then I have failed. It’s made me over critical of my work, my actions, my life. But I’m working towards breaking out of it.

    1. Oh, the power our parent’s words hold over us. Especially in our youth. It makes me acutely aware of the words I choose to speak to my children, for I never want to be guilty of driving my children to perfectionism. Your story is far different from my own, yet we were both seeking the same thing.

      Love and acceptance.

      Our mistake was made when we looked to other people to define our worth when we should have been looking to Heaven alone.

      Although our stories are different, we were both suffering from “Relational Idolatry.” This term simply means that there exists an extreme dependence on a person other than Christ. When we are stuck in relational idolatry, we place someone else in the role only God should occupy in our hearts and minds.

      Here are some scripture verses that have really helped me in this area, and I hope they are an encouragement to you also: Matthew 6:1, 1 Peter 2:19-20, Colossians 1:9-10, Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 6:6.

      Thank you for sharing your heart with me so honestly, I will be praying for you, Tabitha. That God would continue to lead you on a path towards freedom and show you your immeasurable value and worth before Him.

  13. Sarah, these are cautionary words for me. It’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming an affirmation junkie, isn’t it — especially as writers, we look at our numbers, at the comments, and they can become an idol!
    So thankful for this reminder to guard my heart!

  14. Your article is very thought provoking. I think we all struggle with wanting affirmation. And then I think about the children–well, actually my children are grown–so I think about my grandchildren. So much wisdom needed in the way we encourage children and help them develop a dependence on the Lord.

    1. You are so right Carol. My parent’s affirmation means so much to me, even to this day. And I know I am not alone in that. My parents did a great job of pointing me to Jesus, yet I still craved what they had to offer me. As others have stated in this comment thread, it’s ok to desire the affirmation of others…we just have to protect ourselves from placing too high a priority on it. I think the same goes for our children.

  15. What wonderful, honest words Sarah! I can relate in sooo many ways. Always a gift to have the Lord bring someone else’s story to your attention so you don’t feel as isolated in your own (and that’s what you did for me, today!) Blessings to you. I will be praying for you -and I LOVE Oswald Chambers too : )

    1. It is so nice to know we aren’t alone and our battles aren’t entirely unique. I am glad to hear my story encouraged you. I wanted to share a snippet with you from My Utmost for His Highest for today:

      Yet you cannot make disciples unless you are a disciple yourself. When the disciples returned from their first mission, they were filled with joy. But Jesus said, in effect, “Don’t rejoice in successful service— the great secret of joy is that you have the right relationship with Me”

      This offers huge insight into how we can break free from the affirmation trap.

      Writing can become my personal stairway to heaven, if I write for HIM. Focus on my relationship with Him and no one else. This perspective eliminates many of the factors that have held me captive in the past. I pray it is also an encouragement to you, Bethany! Thank you for engaging in the conversation about affirmation.

  16. Well, not that you need affirmation from me, a complete stranger, but I can tell you that what you wrote is probably true for most women, no most people in general. And to a certain extent, we do need affirmation from others. Our parents, our teachers, our boss and coworkers, ministry leaders. How else will we know if we’re doing a good job and how else will we continue to be motivated to do more and better. BUT, there are other areas where we look for affirmation when we shouldn’t, and that’s where we all need that emancipation. Good choice of words. And I LOVED your pictures. I could just see the journey you’re on through the woods. I love the woods, and I love the red coat! You are clothed in scarlet, the blood of Christ, Sarah, and that affirms that you are a child of the King. Always wear your red!

    1. I am trying to learn the art of “not needing affirmation” but rather “enjoying affirmation.” It is a wonderful thing to be affirmed by others, and I think we should learn how to both give and receive affirmation. I agree with you that the problem comes when we put our desire for affirmation above our desire to do what God has asked of us. I am so glad you enjoyed the pictures, Mary. I didn’t recognize the significance of the red coat to this message until you pointed it out to me.

      … for all her household are clothed with scarlet. Proverbs 31:21

      Thank you for your thoughts Mary, you have added something meaningful to this conversation on affirmation and I sincerely appreciate that.

  17. Yes, I have lived many years wanting the affirmation of others. Since reading the book, So Long Insecurity, I have gotten a lot better at not worrying about what others think of me, but I am still a work in progress. Thank you for being so real and open about this topic that I think hits home for many people!

  18. I think that every time we fight the trap it gets a little easier to get out of it, and takes a little longer to get trapped again. Each time we work on it our muscles grow stronger and our bond with Christ increases.

    P.S. Awesome find for the pictures. They go amazingly well with your writing!

    1. That is such a great observation, Jendi. You are right, it is a lot like exercise for our faith muscles! I was thrilled to find the perfect pictures for this article. Finding the photography is one of my favorite parts of curating blog posts. Thank you so much for stopping by and adding your thoughts to the conversation

  19. Hi Sarah. 🙂 Even though I’m not your neighbor, I clicked on this post in the Testimony Tuesday linkup because I was intrigued by the title, and didn’t realize it was you. Happy to bump into you again. 🙂 (I’m #47 — Twenty Octobers. 🙂 ) Ya know, I think that it’s just part of the human condition. God created us to crave affirmation because He wanted us to find it in Him…yet, so often we look for it in others. I think about that song “Christ is enough for me…” I love that song. Sometimes the Lord brings it to mind when I forget that nothing else matters but my life hidden in Him. ((Hug)) Thanks for sharing.

    1. How fun. I find that I am drawn to the same people each week at linkups too. I am glad you found your way back here. Since the fall, mankind has been walking around with a God-sized hole in their hearts. What saddens me is how many Christians fail to realize that they are complete in Christ, lacking nothing! The hole is gone, it is filled, yet somehow we keep trying to stuff it with the affirmation and acceptance of others.

  20. I remember those days. I say days because way back when it was everything to be affirmed in everything. I’m older and wiser now and truthfully, what people think of me now doesn’t matter so much. It gets better with age. Thanks for sharing your heart on our Tuesday Talk link up today.

    1. I am so glad to hear it get’s better with age. I know it is something I will always have to protect myself from, but I look forward to it being an occasional battle rather than a moment-by-moment challenge!

  21. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah,
    In my effort to help free you from affirmation I will “NOT” tell you have much I enjoyed this post! I felt like I was looking in a mirror today. I am upset that I did not read this right away when delivered to my inbox. Your writing always reveals your heart. Just so I’m clear it is “not ” thought provoking and inspiring me to ask God to help me with affirmation issues that I still battle with each day. In all seriousness my new blogging buddy…this post is FANTASTIC! Thank you for sharing your talents with us and the deepest thoughts on your heart. I was blessed, encouraged, and reminded of why I write. It is for my Savior’s affirmation. If He is pleased, then I am humbly thankful. God bless my friend!

    1. Horace, you always bring a bit of extra joy to my day. I just have to say, you are SOOO going to love this week’s post. I just finished editing it today and plan to publish late tomorrow. It is in a similar vein as this article, and the working title is, “Blogging is Inherently Self-Serving.” Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them but am learning not to crave them….if you know what I mean.

  22. With my personality type I don’t care what the world thinks, but there is currently a tug-a-war going on between Christ and my flesh; wanting to be affirmed by others and being completely and totally affirmed by Him in the next second. See, I know in my head He is enough, but that’s not heart knowledge yet. My heart hasn’t understood that yet.
    Thank you for sharing this article!
    ~Haley

    1. There seems to be quite a large gap between head-knowledge and heart-knowledge. For me, once I get my head wrapped around truth it is only a matter of time before it reaches my heart, so long as I don’t allow the enemy to steal the truth away from me before it is safe in my heart.

  23. I’ve never heard it put this way – and the way you’ve put it makes so much sense! I have been and sometimes still am caught in the affirmation trap. Wow. Maybe I’ve never been emancipated from it at all…head knowledge doesn’t always translate to heart freedom, you know? Okay, I am going to be thinking about this all day long! {thank you.}

    1. Mary, you made my heart swell three sizes with your compliment, and then you made me cry. I can’t explain it really, but your words just proved to me that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing…and God is using me in small ways to impact the lives of others. Thank you for your encouragement today, it touched me in a deep place that people rarely reach. Such a blessing you are, my dear!

  24. What a blessing your words are for me today. Freedom it’s so freely given to us yet is so hard for us to believe we have. Yes, may only God’s opinions of us be the ONLY thing that truly matters, AMEN.

  25. This is a wonderful article! You are so right affirmation from others is a trap if we are not aware!! Only Jesus Christ can truly affirm who we are in Him! Your neighbor at A Little R&R Linkup.

  26. Sarah,
    You remind me of a much younger version of myself. I don’t mean to disappoint you, but at 54, I still struggle with being sucked into the affirmation trap. Sure, it’s to a much lesser degree than it was. God has been good and faithful to strip away my pride in myself and my own accomplishments. I asked Him to…and He has. I have found that Pride is the sin that is at the heart of the matter when it comes to affirmation. When my worth is found solely in the fact that I am His and He loves me (even if the world doesn’t) that is when true freedom comes. I pray that I will continue to grow in living to please an audience of One, write to an audience of One, do everything unto an audience of One. ” An audience of One” has become my watch phrase over getting sucked back into the affirmation trap. Beautiful post!! Lifting you up in prayer…God will honor the desire of your heart!! He is faithful!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    1. I like it, can I make my new byline “A Younger Version of Bev Duncan?” I take it as a compliment, thank you! I was that kid who made friends with all of my parent’s friends at a young age, and they all taught me that you never truly arrive until you pass through the pearly gates.

      God always has more work to do in your heart so long as you walk this earth, so I’m not surprised or disappointed by your revelation. I am glad to hear you are still growing, that is where I want to be when I am your age.

      PRIDE is my personal arch-enemy. Someday, I will find the courage to write a blog post about it. I hadn’t thought about the correlation between pride and affirmation, but you are SO RIGHT!

      BTW, this younger version of you wrote a blog post this week about writing to an “Audience of One.” I think it is a key principle for people like us 😉

  27. Thanks for your heartfelt, honest post. This is a very pertinent issue for most people I know. As I read it, I was reminded of two things….firstly Max Lucado’s children’s book called, “You are special.” I think he hits the nail on the head completely in that book.
    Secondly…..is a quote from the artist Grorgia O’Keefe. She says, “I’ve finally settled it for myself…criticism and flattery go down the same drain and I am quite free.”
    I pray for that same kind of freedom for each one of us. May we live for Christ and for him alone.

    1. I just love that quote from Georgia O’Keefe, Tanya! Thank you for sharing it with me. It is so true that in order for us to guard our hearts, we must not take credit for our greatest accomplishments or our most painful failures. God is in the results business, it is simply our responsibility to faithfully follow Him wherever He leads.

  28. This definitely speaks to something we all struggle with. It makes me think a little deeper on the topic of pleasing others when you phrase it as an “affirmation trap”. Something I’ll be thinking about for myself and my leadership team.

    1. Jenny, I am so glad you stopped by today. I pray the words “affirmation trap” stick with you and pop into your head when you are about to get your foot snared!

    1. It’s one of those sticky traps that we tend to carry around with us, annoyingly stuck to the bottom of our foot. Sometimes we can even convince ourselves it’s not really there anymore, but then it trips us up once again. I’m learning that it’s human to seek the affirmation of others, but God is slowly teaching me that my heart will be satisfied with nothing less than His Agape Love.

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