This guide to developing powerful daily affirmations draws from God’s promises to us and his very clear thoughts about us. Affirmations don’t necessarily have to be based on one’s faith, but I would suppose anytime we go to speak to our core and build ourselves up to make a change, we’ll find ourselves pulling support from our spiritual beliefs.
This article looks at verses we can use in writing a message straight to our heart, replacing any lies with truth, enabling us to live in peace with ourselves and with others.
1. What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are declarations of support or encouragement. They can be repeated as reminders and catalysts in changing our outlook and level of success in specific areas of life. Affirming these positive attributes creates heightened focus on our goals, helping us better actualize them.
Thoughts are powerful enough to change who we are, thus who we become.
For as he thinks within himself, so is he. -Proverbs 23:7 (TPT)
Affirmations should include things that are already actively happening in your life alongside those yet to be.
2. Why should I use positive daily affirmations?
We receive and relay messages to ourselves, and process them as truth, without much thought. There are always opinions on what success looks like and whether or not we have what it takes, where to place our priorities and what value we have to others. The messages can come from external sources; media, family and friends, peers, bosses, the look we get from a stranger.
While many messages build our confidence, often we hear the negative at loudest volume. Affirmations are a mental Ctrl+Alt+Del and override all other messages by speaking directly to our spirits, intentionally, loudly and clearly, what we know to be true or even aim to be true.
What makes an Affirmation effective?
It is actionable.
It is positive.
It is present tense.
It is specific!
Not “I can be patient with others.”, but “I am present with my children and patient with their childlike tendencies.”
Not “I want to be successful.”, but rather, “I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.”
Not “I will be happy when <fill in the blank>”, but simply, “I am happy and confident.”
Positive Daily Affirmations are authorative!
Daily affirmations not only increase goal-awareness, but also develop a sensor for when our thoughts fight back against those goals. These negative and conflicting thoughts surface through our entire life. It is not healthy to jam them down without thought. Part of changing our outcome happens through acknowledging the difficult thoughts without immediately assigning value to them. Don’t just assume they are correct!
Can you determine where this message is stemming from? From whose voice? Is it your own or someone else’s? Have they earned the authority to shape your outcome?
This intel will be very valuable in crafting your affirmations! Include them in your strategy.
“I forgive __________.”
“I am capable of and choose to _____________.”
“It is ok to feel ____________”.
3. How do I know what to Affirm?
Understand God’s thoughts on us
If we’re working to remap our thoughts so they lead us to where we need to be, we can gather inspiration from the creator of our hearts. We are image bearers to a creative, intelligent, compassionate, patient, purposeful God. It seems he would desire we follow suit.
It is easy to feel a sense of overwhelm when trying to figure out what God thinks of us. I mean, that could go so many ways. At least from human perspective. I always love my loved ones, but my thoughts and feelings toward them each day can sway frequently and dramatically. Clearly, and thankfully, God is not like us.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. -James 1:7 (ESV)
To help us understand God’s steady thoughts on us and his desires for us, we can use scripture to inspect his character, which is revealed so beautifully through his promises to those who believe in him. When a promise is made, it means the promiser places value on the commitment and is undoubtedly aware how valuable that commitment is to the promisee.
Done right, it is a covenant, a vow, an unshakable bond. God promises us certain things because he knows we need to hear them. These needs, met with his willingness and ability to satisfy them, beckon us to anchor our heart to his.
In prepping for this article, I soaked in and jotted down pages and pages of scriptures. God’s promises make up a lengthy list, with many on that list repeated over and over again through Old and New Testament. This intentional repetition seems to indicate our Promiser knew some promises would hold more weight than others. We need to hear them over and over. Those are the promises that bear repeating.
These promises withstand the weight of routine touting.
These promises remain firm and cannot be weakened.
These promises bring forth new life.
Uncover what you need to hear.
- Trust that your thoughts do shape your outcome.
- Give any negative self-talk over to God. You may know exactly where or who these thoughts originate from. If not, dig deep asking for courage and wisdom. Pray for the ability to forgive if needed. Letting go of this weight will free you to see yourself (and others!) the way God does.
- Invite God into your affirmation brainstorming session. He’s called you as his co-worker and wants to build you up strong! (1 Cor 3:9 ESV)
- Share your thoughts and questions with a trusted friend or mentor. Invite them to boost you up with what they wish your heart could hear on a daily basis. I bet it will be powerfully sweet stuff!
Affirm God’s promises to yourself.
Based purely on repetition, here are what I believe to be the Top Messages our Hearts Crave coupled with just a sprinkling of verses. Stay tuned in the following week for additional verses via mini blog posts. I’ll also be posting them on FB and Twitter for super easy sharing!
You are forgiven.
Used in affirmation, these verses might sound like this:
I am forgiven. God pours out extravagant grace to me. I am holy! I am loved! I am rescued from my past. My identity is in my salvation. This truth is my inheritance!
You are not alone.
Psalm 139:5 (ESV)
Used in affirmation, they might sound like this:
I am not alone. I am accompanied by God. He hems me in behind and before & places his hand on me. I am strong and courageous.
You have been chosen to live out a plan, which has been designed specifically for you.
Ephesians 1:11-12 (MSG)
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)
Romans 8:28 (TPT)
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
Used in affirmation, it could look like this:
I am chosen. I am designed for glorious living. I am empowered by God to do the work he’s planned for me. My work makes a difference. My future is full of hope. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
You have been given all the gifts you need to accomplish every detail of that plan for his glory.
James 1:5 (TPT)
Used in affirmation, the combo could sound like this:
I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful. The good work that has been started in me will be completed. I am loving. I am peaceful. I am patient and kind. I am powerful yet gentle. I am disciplined and wise. I am confident that he who began a good work will carry it on to completion.
Wrap Up Verses
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -2 Corinthians 10:5
Obedient in trust that the potter knows more about the clay than the clay could ever know about itself. Obedient in displaying that trust by praying for encouragement and ability to take thoughts captive.
Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. -Philippians 4:8
Even about myself? He says, “Yes! Even about yourself!”
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! -Deuteronomy 30:19
You have the authority to choose. Refuse to relinquish that power to others.
Further reading in this series: