Sam Crabtree’s book Practicing Affirmation is a veritable goldmine in walking through the biblical expectation of encouragement/affirmation. I highly recommend this book regardless if your desire is to become a more faithful affirmer of people or if in your self-evaluation you realize this is a struggle or weakness in your life — you’ll be served very well by this book.
In chapter 6 he walks through several questions that people have concerning affirmation. One question is what hope is there for a person who doesn’t have the “personality” to affirm. Here’s his answer:
First answer this question: Is affirming others a good work? If it is, then plug that truth in the following text: ‘And God is able to make all grace about to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work’ (2 Cor 9:8.
Okay, you’re not able. But God is able, and he is able to make you abound in every good work, including affirming those he has placed around you for the purpose of being refreshed by you. What hope is there for you? God.
One more question: What kind of attitude will make a person a better affirmer of others?
This is a wise question, for it goes to the heart. When it comes to affirming others well, ya gotta wanna. Generally, our failure to affirm others is not rooted in them, but in us. So ask God for personal transformation, including the development of things like greater alertness (from a heart actively on the lookout for the image of God in others), greater humility (considering others better than yourselves), and greater gratefulness (appreciating how God has surrounded you with so many echoes and reflections of himself.
To purchase this book go here.