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Life At Its Best: Affirmation drives us

By By Jim Graff
Nov. 2, 2012 at 6:02 a.m.

Jim Graff

One of the deepest emotions we feel is the desire for affirmation. It's a driving force behind much of what we say and do. Sometimes, we try fulfilling it by acquiring greater success or wealth. But the truth is, nothing replaces the feeling of knowing someone we love believes in us.

I watched a Piers Morgan interview with Howard Stern that showed this truth well. The host asked him what drove him to do all he did, and Stern narrowed it down to two things. One was his overboard personality that inspired him to do whatever he could to be successful. The second was the affirmation of his father.

This host's dad was a radio engineer, so he understood his job well. Many times, when he had a break in his show, Stern would call him. His dad would encourage him, telling him how great he was doing and how much he believed in him.

It wasn't until years later that the radio host realized why he really kept calling his dad over and over. It wasn't because he was bored or felt the need to catch up with him. It was because he craved his dad's approval. The affirmation and love he received from his father encouraged him so that he could reach his goals.

We all seek affirmation from someone. Some of us have found it in a parent, coach or friend. Others of us are still searching for someone to fulfill that need. Whatever category you fall into today, know that there's someone who is always cheering you on.

Ephesians 2:4 tells us that our Heavenly Father is rich in love and mercy. He always loves us and never stops believing in us, even when we mess up. He wants to encourage us in every step along our journey.

But not only is God our biggest cheerleader, he's also our greatest coach. He sees potential in us that we often don't even see in ourselves, and he desires to show us how to fulfill it. But we must be teachable. We must allow him and others he uses to mature us. Progress requires pain, but the reward of reaching the places he's called us to will be well worth it.

God believes in the potential he's placed inside of each of us. He's not discouraged or frustrated when we fall short, and we shouldn't be either. Instead, we should remain confident that he'll never give up on us. And we must also remember that along with mercy comes training. While God loves us where we're at, he loves us too much to let us stay there. To be our best, we must remain open to his teaching.

Are you feeling un-affirmed today? Or are you feeling unknowledgeable about how to live your best life? Remember that in God, you have the greatest cheerleader and greatest coach you could ever have. So find out what he has to say and start maximizing your potential today.

Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria. faithfamilyvictoria.com.

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