Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God” as Want to Read:
Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  321 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
It happens in marriages, parent-child relationships, friendships, workplaces, and churches: Communication falters, friendships wane, teenagers withdraw, marriages fail, and bitter rifts sever once-strong ties. Christian communities are no exception. Why do so many of our relationships suffer from alienation, indifference, and even hostility?

Author Sam Crabtree believes tha
Paperback, 178 pages
Published 2011 by Crossway
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Practicing Affirmation, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Practicing Affirmation

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 14, 2011 Devin rated it liked it
Recommended to Devin by: Brett Toney
Sam Crabtree: an excellent pastor and, now, a pretty good author. I picked this book per the suggestion of a friend and mentor after I confessed to him how little affirmation I have given to others. This book was just what I needed.

Crabtree does an excellent job throughout the book keeping a pastoral tone. While addressing theological controversy where he needs to, he paints a beautiful picture of how habitual affirmation can create and restore deep relationships in marriages, families, friends,
May 22, 2016 Brittany rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. It has encouraged me to want to look for the good in others and affirm that. We don't want to offer empty affirmations aka flattery, but instead take the time to really notice God at work in others lives, even non believers- for even they experience the common grace that God offers. This book made me reflect on the words that I speak; am I affirming others (spouse, kids, family, friends) or criticizing? Highly recommend this. I believe it could be life changing for a ma ...more
Mar 08, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
An excellent book about seeing the grace of God in others. Very useful and encouraging resource on improving your attitude towards others. Not a squishy, feel-good read. It's a positive theology of building up others and actively seeing the sanctifying work of God in those around you.

Read in March 2012 and again March 2013 to prepare for a sermon.
Stephen Altrogge
Mar 28, 2013 Stephen Altrogge rated it it was amazing
This book was so very helpful to me. I am critical by nature. I am more inclined to point out people's flaws than encourage them for their strengths. This book challenged me to grow in the biblical practice of affirming and encouraging other Christians. I recommend this to all.
Jan 10, 2017 Amanda rated it really liked it
Short, simple and practical read on the biblical call to affirm the people in our lives - believers and non-believers alike. Because all of God's creation echoes Him as our Creator in some way, there are always good and praiseworthy qualities to be found in others. Crabtree's intent in this book, though, is to challenge readers to not settle for surface affirmations (such as "your hair looks nice") or overly general affirmations (such as "good job!") - while these kind of affirmations are not "b ...more
Jul 22, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
3.5 stars. GREAT message, mediocre writing. In spite of the fact that I'm only giving this 3.5 stars, I highly recommend that everyone who interacts with another human reads this book, or at least chapter 2.

From what I understand, the author is a colleague of Piper's, and the vibe of his writing is extremely similar. In fact, Piper wrote the intro, and if you didn't know the author you could easily think Piper wrote the book.

THE DOWNSIDE: At times the author drives the point he's already made
Joshua D.
Jun 29, 2011 Joshua D. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents, managers, leaders
A helpful book on the ministry of affirmation (or encouragement). The premise is this: every good thing comes from God. When we see a good thing, we ought to affirm it. When we don't, we actually pass over something good God is doing, therefore demeaning or undervaluing his work in the world or in other people. So this is a vertical issue (how we praise God), but it's also a horizontal issue (there are tremendous benefits in affirming other people).

To the first point: we need to affirm good thin
Brian Pate
May 08, 2015 Brian Pate rated it it was ok
Praise what God is doing in other people. That's the big idea of this book. If we fail to commend the character of Christ and reflection of God's image in others, we actually rob him of his rightful glory. We should bring God into our compliments, since they are to be based on reflections of his character.

The bulk of the book is in chapters 2-3 (45 pages), where Crabtree explains that there must be a healthy proportion between correction and affirmations. Too much correction will cause the recip
John Brackbill
Mar 08, 2013 John Brackbill rated it it was ok
The concept was very helpful and important to be reminded of. He laid out the Biblical basis for practicing affirmation in the first part of the book. There are some helpful examples given as well.

Here are a few negatives (at the risk of not being affirming!)
-The formatting on this kindle addition was very bad-worst I have seen.
-His style of writing does not flow very well.
-At times it seemed like the biblical foundation for affirming was a distant memory and popular psychology tactics had t
David Morris
Jul 15, 2012 David Morris rated it it was ok
It's not very affirming of me to give this 2 stars. And I feel bad. But personally I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. I found the first chapter and the idea that good affirmation affirms Godliness or Christlikeness helpful. Stylistically, I thought the book was repetitive, the vocabulary esoteric at points, and at times the wording cloying. It also seemed really light on Scriptural support, and though it wasn't pop psychology it lacked a consistent exegetical support to match its s ...more
May 10, 2015 Barry rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
There is a lot to affirm in this book. Unfortunately, there isn't much to write about. Mr. Crabtree has an excellent message and his delivery is clear. However, for the amount of editing that he indicates took place, the book is surprisingly disjointed. He includes a Q&A as chapter 6 of 9. I don't believe I've ever seen a Q&A with that much of a book left. Granted, the last half of the book feels like a series of appendices, but still, I'm surprised that with a team of editors involved a ...more
Apr 18, 2013 Trisha rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did. Perhaps it was a Kindle issue and there were errors in the formatting. Crabtree's writing often didn't flow, and he was a bit too repetitive in trying to make sure we understood what he WASN'T saying. I'm sure he was trying to ward off critics ahead of time, but his efforts were a bit frustrating. Some of his suggestions and assertions didn't sit well with me, but I'd have to reflect more on why, and perhaps just read this one again. In spite of these ...more
Dec 17, 2013 Jayson rated it really liked it
Wonderful book. For me it eliminated a dichotomy between praising people and a robust God-centered, Gospel-driven trajectory. It also helped clear up the difference between affirmation and flattery and the manipulative sandwich method of correction.

This was a wonderful eye-opener for me, an area of weakness in my ministry and family leadership. I hope, by God's grace to grow in seeing and verbalizing sightings of Jesus in others. Very practical and helpful!
Feb 08, 2014 Rita rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rita by: Stephen Gambill
This book was so helpful to me at this particular stage of my life that I didn't even notice how repetitive it was. I must have desperately needed the repetition since affirming does not come easy for me...not even close. My default mode is critical and judgmental. I thank God my pastor put this book into my hands at just the right time. I intend to re-read it at least once a year.
Corby H
An easy read that has been practical and encouraging.
Dann Zinke
Dec 09, 2016 Dann Zinke rated it it was amazing
Just excellent! Clear, precise, and loaded with practical advice and wisdom. I should have read this years ago.
Nathan Moore
Dec 30, 2016 Nathan Moore rated it it was amazing
Very helpful.
Josh Skinner
Nov 12, 2014 Josh Skinner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my favorite books ever is Desiring God, by John Piper. That book was one of, if not the, first books I read that dealt explicitly with the idols of my life. One of the idols it dealt with was an unhealthy desire of approval from others and the damnable practice of worshipping anything other than God. Due to my own limitations and sinful tendencies, I took the truths presented in the book and swung to an extreme. Not wanting to seek man’s approval over God’s, I became almost incapable of r ...more
Jan 08, 2017 Andrew rated it really liked it
Incredibly helpful tips on how to lovingly affirm people. A striking balance of theology, application, and examples.
Wow! Practicing Affirmation is a unique, profound little book! It's far from the usual pop psychology self-esteem stuff out there. Instead, Sam Crabtree encourages God-centered affirmation of others as a way to glorify God and deepen relationships.

I struggle with being negative and critical at times. Being affirming to others doesn't come naturally to me. And yet, as Pastor Crabtree points out, there is something of worth in everyone. Far from advocating man-centered flattery, he maintains that
Jan 11, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it
"When our mouths are empty of praise for others, it is probably because our hearts are full of love for self." John Piper

This book is not a bunch of psycho babble, it is carefully thought out, biblical, christ affirming observations about the desire of God that we affirm one another. Prov 11:25, 12:25 and what will happen if you do or do not.

Mr. Crabtree starts out going thru the bible making the point that God along with others affirm many people through out the scripture and that we should do
Josiah DeGraaf
Jan 31, 2016 Josiah DeGraaf rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-living
In this book, Sam Crabtree takes a commonly-under-emphasized virtue: that of affirming and praising others, and does a good job of reminding the reader of how important it is to practice this and what kind of an impact taking up this kind of discipline can have on your many relationships. Since this is not something that I regularly think about, it was good for me to read this book and this book made it clear to me that I have a good ways to go in this particular area!

While there is much in this
Aug 07, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing
Es gibt nicht viele Bücher, die mich vom Hocker hauen. Dies ist eines. Nicht weil es so gut geschrieben wäre, sondern weil es einige meiner Denk- und Handlungsweisen so radikal in Frage stellt.
Im Wesentlichen geht es Sam Crabtree darum, dass wir lernen und üben, das, was vom Bild Gottes in anderen Menschen sichtbar wird, zu bestätigen und zu loben. Und er meint, mit etwas Aufmerksamkeit werden wir immer etwas finden.
Theologischer Ausgangspunkt ist der Begriff der "allgemeinen Gnade", die Gott al
Amy Kannel
Sep 27, 2013 Amy Kannel rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
I think this could have gotten more stars if it was about half its current length. I'm not usually one to get easily bored with nonfiction books, though I know many people find them to be needlessly repetitive, but this one definitely was. It seems that the author has gotten a TON of resistance to this topic and his arguments, because he kept repeating argument after argument about why affirmation is necessary, how it's rooted in Scripture, how to mitigate the pitfalls, etc. He has a strong case ...more
Mar 08, 2012 Jeanie rated it it was amazing
Affirmation is a Godly way to express love to others. To share with them the qualities of Christ that is working in them. God is glorified in us when we affirm the work he has done and is doing others. Book is wonderful resource of what Godly affirmation is and is not. It gives wonderful word pictures of what it looks like and how we can apply it to those we love. It makes you think and act on what you observe in others. With each of us made in the image of God is praise in itself. I want to be ...more
Oct 28, 2016 Alexander rated it really liked it
This is a book for everyone. Whether you are a husband, wife, parent, boss, employee, etc., this book offers us help in an area that I think we all need some help, if we're honest. Before reading this book, I always thought of affirmation as simply encouraging or building another person up. In that way, a compliment would be affirmation. However, Sam Crabtree really stretched me to not simply commend others, but to help others see how that which is commendable in them finds its source in God. Hi ...more
Jan 04, 2016 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the Self-Sick

Conviction best describes how I started this book. The descriptions of what it means to be an affirming person and what the non-affirming person looks like had me to a T. And I didn't like it. But, Crabtree, even in showing me how incredibly self-sick I was (and still am), did so in an affirming way. I found myself lacking in the area of affirmation, but desperately wanting the help that Jesus has to offer through the Gospel, through His character, and through what He had taught
Will Pareja
"Affirmation of a recognized quality in a human hints at a real quality in God who stands behind it" (p. 30).
A round of applause to any executive pastor who has time to write a book let alone a book like this. Crabtree really unpacks an aspect of communication that could could give life to all kinds of relationships. This could almost pass for a counseling book or the positive sequel to Paul Tripp's book War of Words.
Theologically, Crabtree roots the practice of affirmative communication in co
Jan 23, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it
This book helped me grow in understanding the ways in which affirming the character of God in others can bring glory to God. It also helped encourage me to not grow weary in doing good - to keep using the gifts God has given me to build up The Body of Christ for His glory, and not be discouraged by the lack of immediate fruit. Chapters 1 and 6 were by far the most helpful for me.

"We are stewards of grace. Those who steward well should be commended for it, and God should be praised for giving the
Ellie Benson
May 20, 2015 Ellie Benson rated it it was amazing
The book Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree is a very practical guide to Gospel centered affirmation. The title might make you believe that this is some sort of how-to manual or self-help guide but it is more about showing how Jesus affirms us and how we should affirm others in the church, our homes and beyond. There is a very useful list in the back to to help brainstorm ways to affirm others if you are having a hard time doing so and can't break that mold. I am cynical and critical by natu ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reformed Readers: Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree 3 14 Mar 12, 2013 07:07AM  
  • Don't Call it a Comeback: The Old Faith for a New Day
  • Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself
  • A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, & Mission Around the Table
  • Gospel Wakefulness
  • The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything
  • Am I Really a Christian?
  • Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything
  • Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn
  • Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith
  • Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books
  • Why Johnny Can't Preach: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers
  • Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
  • Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Good News in a World of False Hope
  • Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey
  • Reverberation: How God's Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People
  • Leaders Who Last
  • Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons
  • Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration

Share This Book

“The point of being created in the image of God is that human beings are destined to display God.That’s what images do.And the point of being redeemed by Jesus, and renewed after the image of our Creator, is to recover this destiny.” 2 likes
“God is glorified in us when we affirm the work he has done and is doing in others.” 1 likes
More quotes…