I found it to be true for me what Madden said that “we have the need for affirmation beyond the family.” I got a good amount of affirmation as a child while growing up. At the same time I got picked on a lot as a child. I would get teased for having buck teeth. That was a wound that stuck with me for a long time. I find it interesting that I have struggled with self esteem to some extent even though I have had good affirmation throughout my life. This is an area I have grown a lot in the past 5 years. I believe a large part is internalizing the affirmation that I receive. A question that this idea bring up for me, is who am I surrounding myself with? Is it people who will both challenge and affirm me?
I like the idea from Madden that comes out that one way people were blessed in the Old Testament was by given the gift to see what God was about or what God is up to. It reminds me of Solomon asking for wisdom when he had the chance to ask for anything. It makes me wonder what posture to embrace seeing more of what God is about. Because I imagine that is a gift he longs to give all who seek it.