The Power of Affirmation - Bob Sawvelle

Your words have weight and carry a creative power.

God spoke, and creation came into being, and then God “blessed” creation. “Blessed” is derived from a Hebrew word primarily meaning ‘to pronounce favor.’ It’s the act of declaring, or extending through pronouncement, God’s favor and goodness upon others, or to pronounce happiness, prosperity, and blessing in the future. God “blessed creation;” this includes humanity. God’s desire toward us is that of favor, goodness and prosperity.

The Importance of Names

When God created Adam, He brought the animals to him to be named (Gen. 2:19-20). God entrusted Adam with the creative aspect of naming these creatures. Adam’s “words” over these animals had a prophetic effect as they were named.

The Patriarchs understood the importance of names and the creative or prophetic capacity of words. In naming Joseph, Jacob released the prophetic seed of his destiny to become what his father “saw” and what God had intended. Joseph means “the Lord has Added.” Joseph was a posterity for his people and through his life God added much to Israel and the resulting generations. As Jacob “blesses” his twelve sons in Genesis 49, he is releasing divine favor, happiness, and prosperity to them and their children.

Today, Jewish society continues to place a significant emphasis on bar and bat mitzvahs, a rite of passage for 13-year-olds, which affirms them as they are welcomed into adulthood. It’s important at certain rites of passage in the lives of our children to speak blessing over them – birth, starting school, puberty, graduation, at marriage, and when they become parents too.

The Power of the Tongue

Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) states, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” The words you speak over yourself and to others have power and creative life. James tells us that we can use our words to bless and to curse.

We live in a world surrounded by negative words, thoughts, and images. Negative words and thoughts can originate from others, ourselves, and the enemy of our souls—the accuser of the brethren. Words used correctly, from a heart of love toward others builds them and can release them to fulfill their destiny. Our children should be the recipients of words that carry the prophetic seeds of their future. Our words should release divine favor, happiness, and prosperity to them.

Our words are powerful. I wonder, do we realize that whom we bless is blessed and whom we curse is cursed? In speaking of the nature of our tongue and the power of our words James states, 3:9-10 (NLT):

Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”

Let the Positive Outweigh the Negative

Experts say that it takes eight positive comments to undo the effect of two negative ones. Our words carry weight. Positive words of affirmation build up, while negative words not only hinder others but can debilitate them.

Dr. Mark Virkler, a noted Christian researcher, author, and teacher discovered that when people are engaged in normal conversation, they are negative 80% of the time. People predominately talk about hurts, anger, and injustices in their conversations. If we are negative 80% of the time, we are usually living in reaction to anger or hurt. The sad result is that the last thing we think about is blessing someone, even our family.

The Power of Affirmation

The younger generations are craving the blessing of an older generation. Parents, your children and your grandchildren long to be blessed and affirmed by you. Your pronouncements of favor and prosperity over them position them to achieve their purpose and destiny. Affirmation is a key to unlock the heart of others.

Love and affirmation are what the human heart longs for. Words of affirmation release the creative and prophetic capacity to become what has been pronounced. My sincere prayer is that negativity is removed from your thinking and words and that God will use you as an agent of blessing and affirmation toward others.



Bob Sawvelle

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