Progressive Christian Channel
New Year's Transformation
Affirmations are short statements that declare or envision a positive outcome. Affirmations are typically in the present tense, asserting that we already have what we need to flourish and reach out to others. Based on the vision of a positive outcome and the reality of abundance, affirmations may seem counterfactual, at first, but in fact, they reveal the deeper realities of ourselves and the world. Affirmations involve seeing the world differently and thus shaping the world in new and positive ways. Affirmations, contrary to some new age beliefs, do not literally "create your own reality," but they shape, energize, and transform our experiences of the world, which, accordingly, transforms the reality we experience. Affirmations begin with the conscious mind but eventually through repeated use transform and heal our unconscious mind.
Through the use of affirmations, we challenge and eliminate negative self-talk. We discover our greatness and agency through the use of affirmations. We are God's beloved children and we can do more than we can imagine. There is the world of scarcity: a mustard seed is the smallest seed; we have only five loaves and two fish; and we didn't catch any fish last night. But, there is also the world of abundance: mustard seeds grow into great plants; with a few fish, we can feed a multitude; and a great catch of fish is over the horizon. Affirmations do not deny the realities of concrete life and personal limitation but see them from the perspective of God's ever-flowing energy.
As you begin the New Year, let me suggest some life-changing affirmations from the biblical tradition:
God has begun a good work in me and will bring it to fullness . . . a harvest of righteousness. (Phil. 1:6, 11)
I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
My God will fully satisfy all my needs. (Phil. 4:19)
I am the light of the world. (Mt. 5:14)
I let my light shine. (Mt. 5:16)
I am God's beloved child. (Mt. 3:17)
The Spirit intercedes within me in sighs too deep for words. (Rom. 8:26)
In all things in my life, God is working for good. (Rom. 8:28)
If God is for me, nothing can be against me. (Rom. 8:31)
Nothing can separate me from the love of God. (Rom. 8:39)
With every breath, I praise God. (Ps. 150:6)
Take time in the New Year for the renewing of your mind. Awaken to your inner creativity and resources. You can be transformed.
Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, pastor, and author of twenty one books, including Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed, Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living, and The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality for the Postmodern Age. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for lectures, workshops, and retreats.