So, I was super excited to see Sam Crabtree's new book, Practicing Affirmation. I was excited because this is a unique book that helps us with something that most of us have never even thought about.
The subtitle of this book is "God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God." Basically, the point of the book is that God is honored when we recognize and verbalize His work in others. We praise God by affirming and encouraging each other.
In the forward to this book, John Piper says, "If God is sovereign, and every good gift is from above, then not praising the good in others is a kind of sacrilege and soul-sickness." He goes on to say, "When our mouths are empty of praise for others, it is probably because our hearts are full of love for self."
Every evidence of good in another person is blood-bought. No one is good apart from the grace of God. Thus, we must open our eyes and recognize and affirm God's work in others all around us. We must regularly and consistently identify evidences of God's grace in the lives of others.
Crabtee shows from the examples and commands of Scripture that not affirming others is robbing God of His glory. And, he helps us avoid the pitfalls and dangers of flattery and pride.
Crabtree has a whole chapter on mistakes he has made, a chapter with answers to some of the most common questions, and a chapter with 100 ideas for those who need help getting started.
This is a good and practical book that should be read by any and every Christian. I hope this book has massive influence in churches where God-centered affirmation is far too rare. I hope God uses this book to strengthen His church and exalt His name. Get a copy for yourself and a friend.