Rick Warren says that everybody needs affirmation

Everybody needs affirmation, says Rick Warren.

Pastor Rick Warren is sharing a little secret with people: Everybody is looking for affirmation.

"Have you noticed that?" he wrote on his website. "People will do almost anything to get it. If you don't believe that, just watch some of the reality shows. Look at what people do to get on TV, just so people will applaud them."

But people don't need to look far for affirmation, he said, because God is an incredibly affirming and loving Father. And when people affirm others as well, then they are emulating God and spreading His love and kindness.

According to Warren, one of the best ways to affirm people in everyday life is to show them acceptance. He quoted the Bible verse Romans 15:7 that says, "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you."

"The easy choice sometimes is to snub and belittle and demean people, especially when they don't measure up to our standards," he said. "We all have a tendency to take our strengths and project them on other people, and then put them down when they don't meet our expectations."

Warren gave a few examples: A person who is very punctual might look down their nose on those who are always late, and it makes them feel good about themselves because they're better at being on time. Or maybe, he said, a tidy person can't help but look down on those who have messy houses.

"We tend to project our strengths on other people, forgetting that we have weaknesses in other areas," he stressed.

So instead of putting other people down, Warren suggested that Christians lift others up. It will make other people feel better about themselves, and at the same time, it will give Christians a thrill like nothing else. So how does one do this?

Warren advised that people stop insisting that others be like them, and rejoice in their differences. The world will be so boring if everybody is just the same, he said, so God created people differently.

"The goal of a family, a small group, a church family, or any community group is not to mold people into your image but to accept and affirm each other and help each other discover who God made you to be," he said.