Affirmations of Grace

By Tammy Lindle of Independence, Missouri, USA

Let no harmful talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.  Ephesians 4:29

I recently heard a famous boxer—a former heavyweight champion of the world—hired a guy to follow him around, saying words to build him up and stroke his ego. He’d say, “You’re the man!” “There’s no one greater than you!” “You’re the strongest, fastest, meanest, most-ferocious fighter in the world!” “You are the ultimate fighting champion!”

These words had to be delivered with a style and bravado convincing to the fighter. The words had to be said with passion and be varied enough to be fresh and be heard by the fighter.

The one hired to deliver the messages had to believe it himself to make it believable to his boss.

Words have power to shape who we are, how we see ourselves, and what we can become. They have the power to build up and destroy.

I recently discovered how unbelievably helpful words of affirmation are to me. After going through some life-changing events, I am uplifted and blessed by words of love, support, and caring that have come to me from God’s people, who share my journey. These words come in cards, through e-mail, text messages, songs sung for my birthday, and long conversations.

These words have come through hugs, smiles, gifts, invitations, food, and shared tears. They have come as one-time-only messages from some and as repeated gestures over many months and in different ways from others.

Each word serves as a testimony of the rich and varied blessings of community connected in Christ. The best part is…we don’t have to hire it done.

Prayer for Peace:

Affirming God, thank you for grace in our lives, grace we may share with others. Thank you for the speakers of grace, for they are a blessing to all who hear. They are the instruments who share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Welcoming Unity in Diversity

Each day this week meditate on unity in diversity. Prayerfully read Doctrine and Covenants 163:8c, which calls “the entire church to become a sanctuary of Christ’s peace, where people from all nations, ethnicities, and life circumstances can be gathered into a spiritual home without dividing walls.”

Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle. Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep you and others from being one in Christ’s peace.

Peace Covenant:

When I find souls in dark shadows, God, I will witness of your love for them and affirm their worth in your sight.

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4 Comments

  1. Lynn Roberts

     /  9 May 2012

    Thanks Tammy; words of encouragement and support mean so much. I’m glad for those who are sensitive enough to share in that way. May it continue in your life. I remember you from CLWorkshop at Graceland a few years back….you are gifted woman…..you were an inspiration to me!

  2. Frank Mendenhall

     /  9 May 2012

    Many blessings Tammy.

  3. Thanks, Tammy
    I’m going to share it at church this afternoon.

  4. Erica Blevins Nye

     /  9 May 2012

    Just the words I needed to hear today. Thanks, Tammy, and thanks, Ephesians!

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