As we identified the in the last “encouragement” segment about the old man and the new man, living a life of integrity and authenticity is an ongoing and continuous process. It involves the daily choices and surrenders of taking off those attitudes and behaviors that were a part of our old life and putting on new behaviors that reflect the change God is bringing about in our lives.
In verse 29 of Ephesians 4 Paul states: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” As you progress in your personal recovery journey, purpose to use speech that affirms and builds up others. We are all quite capable of seeing what is wrong in another. In our woundedness we often see what we are not receiving more than what we are not giving.
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is encouraging us to practice affirmation therapy. Every day look for opportunities to encourage and build up the people you come in contact with, especially your spouse or those in your inner circle. See what is right about the other person, (spouse, family member, or friend) and make a point of affirming and validating that person each day.
I know you want to hear validations from others and you deserve to hear them. At the same time, God is asking you to put on this “new man” attitude of affirming and building up others. In my experience when you offer affirmation, you will soon see it being returned. Risk doing it the Creator’s way with the created ones in your life.
Ted Baldick, Ph.D.
Healing for Men workshop leader