But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God
This is the first of five posts by Bryan DeWire on Pastor Sam’s new book, Practicing Affirmation.
(Note: Sam did not solicit this series. Rather, the staff at Bethlehem is eager to see many people read his new book and suggested this series.)
“God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God” is the subtitle of Pastor Sam Crabtree’s new book, Practicing Affirmation.
Sam begins the book by saying, “Affirmation is the purpose of the universe—specifically, affirmation of God” (p. 11). And it’s in this context that he encourages Christians to make it a habit to commend other people.
How can we encourage believers to affirm one another if man’s chief end is to affirm God? His response: “The praising of people does not necessarily preclude the praising of God, if the people are commended ultimately for his glory” (p. 12). He adds, “Before being able to affirm people well, we need to learn to affirm God, the source of everything to be affirmed in people” (p. 20).
This upcoming week, we will have a series of blog posts on Sam’s new book. We will answer the following questions:
- Who should read this book?
- Why should you read this book?
- What have other people said about this book?
- How can you use this book?
My prayer is that God would use Practicing Affirmation to help Bethlehem’s speech be “good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29) and that our words would “always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that [we] may know how [we] ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6). All to the praise of God.
(Practicing Affirmation is available at Bethlehem’s bookstores).
Bryan DeWire is the pastoral assistant to Pastor Sam Crabtree.
Pastor Sam Crabtree is Bethlehem's Pastor for Small Groups, North.