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  • Ep. 4.14 Mantras vs. Affirmations vs. Declarations

    April 18, 2023 12 min read

    Ep. 4.14 Mantras vs. Affirmations vs. Declarations

    On this week’s episode of the AU podcast, we talk about the differences between mantras, affirmations, and declarations. Which one should you use, if any? Why are they different? Can any of them help bring us closer to God? Words have power! This week we learn how to tap into that power in a way that aligns with Christianity.

    4:23-4:32 Definition of declarations

    5:59-6:11 Words have power!

    10:19-10:37 What Jesus says about us

    12:46-13:14 Who does this recognize the power of?

    14:08-14:21 Truth based on what God’s revealed

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    Hello, and welcome to today's episode
    of the Authentic Uprising podcast.
    I'm your host Jill Simons, and I'm
    so excited to grow in the radical
    art of standing in what god
    says about you with you today.
    The show is a place where we
    pour into the sense of who got
    who we are and how we can live
    more in the freedom that he
    has for us every
    single day.
    Hello and welcome to today's episode of
    the Authentic Uprising podcast.
    As always. I'm your
    host Jill Simons,
    and I am going to be chatting
    with you today about something
    that I hear so much disagreement,
    misinformation, confusion about
    both in the Church out of it.
    And that is the question of
    whether or not Christians can and
    should, use things like like mantras,
    affirmations, declarations,
    things like that.
    So that's what we're
    gonna get into today.
    We're gonna be talking about
    where Christians should land on
    this issue and then just some
    practical tips for applying what
    we're talking about
    to your life.
    So as always, it's really helpful
    to get clarity about terms
    before you try and discuss. You know,
    should I do this? Should I not do this?
    There's a lot of different
    terms that get thrown around
    interchangeably when they're
    not actually interchangeable.
    A mantra is something that is used
    in primarily Hindu meditation,
    but you might have versions of
    mantra used in Buddhist meditation,
    as well, that is meant to repeat
    the mantra over and over and over again,
    and it's too empty your mind. So
    that's kind of the goal of a mantra.
    Is to bring... Have something to
    bring your focus back to over
    and over again to empty your mind
    out so that the goal of those
    forms of meditation being an empty
    mind so that you are able
    to really not be present to
    yourself and your own thought so
    that you can be absorbed
    in to something greater.
    And so that is a very specific
    spiritual practice in a different
    world religion than Christianity.
    Affirmations is something that's
    so widely talked about
    throughout the self-help space.
    And it's typically, you know, let's
    repeat this phrase on a regular
    basis because we
    want to believe it.
    Let's say this over and over
    again because we want to act more
    like we believe it, live
    more, like, we believe it.
    We want to actually
    believe it.
    And so it's really something
    that's used as like a self-help
    tool in order to get your mind
    to cooperate with a belief that
    you're looking to believe
    in the long run.
    And again, typically with affirmations,
    it's very self-motivated where it's...
    Like I said, an aspect of self-help where you are deciding,
    I would like to
    believe this thing.
    I would like to believe that
    I'm an athletic person,
    I would like to believe that my
    earning potential is unlimited
    maybe but also some you know,
    those could be things that could
    seem very self-centered, but it
    could also be something, you know,
    more altruistic like I am
    a very generous person.
    And people repeat these affirmations
    to help bring this into
    the truth in their lives. Or
    that's kind of the the base
    principle of affirmations. I think
    that from both those definitions,
    it's probably becoming clear,
    neither one of those is really
    spot on with what with how
    Christians are called to use our
    words and use our minds. And so
    there's a different term that
    I like to use to talk about statements
    that we repeat on a regular basis,
    and that is declarations. When I
    was going through formation,
    that was how it was talked about. And declarations, in contrast
    to mantras and affirmations,
    declarations are not about emptying
    your mind and they're not about you
    exerting your will to make something true.
    Declarations are about agreeing
    and stepping into agreement
    with things that
    are already true.
    So this is very much a an energy
    of cooperating with the truth
    and living in reality. And if you are,
    you know, partake in any media,
    mainstream media right now,
    you know that there is actually
    something pretty special about
    living in reality right now
    because it's not a given in our
    society. I will leave it at that.
    I won't elaborate anymore, but
    there are a lot of people that
    are really wanting to go kind
    of this affirmation route of
    I wanna create what
    the reality is.
    I wanna say something to
    myself and believe it,
    and that's how I'm
    gonna live my life.
    A declaration on the other hand
    is using really that same power
    and that's what I want to mention
    with both mantras and animations
    and declarations, all three. All
    three of them do work to a certain
    extent because of a few key
    principles that are one hundred
    percent in keeping with
    Christian theology.
    And that is that one, God
    has given us free will,
    so we are able to direct that
    free will through our words and
    through our repeated actions to
    bring about a certain end that
    we are reaching for because he
    has given us real ability to
    choose our own adventure, to
    really choose who we wanna be,
    what we wanna believe
    and how we wanna live.
    And the other thing is that
    words have tremendous power.
    And we see this through
    God's use of words,
    and then also how he
    empowers us with words.
    And so of course in creation,
    you have the Lord speaking,
    the world into existence
    in first John,
    it talks about or I'm sorry
    in the gospel of John.
    It talks about how Jesus is the Word,
    and the Word was with God.
    And so the very person of our
    Savior is called the Word because
    he is in existence with the Father,
    spoken into the world to change things.
    And then we look at you know,
    what's the primary artifact we
    have maybe artifact isn't
    the correct word what's the primary
    kind of connection that we have
    available to everyone with God.
    That's his word, the Word
    of God which is the Bible.
    And so clearly, it's a recurring theme
    that words are immensely powerful.
    And so it's really foolish to throw
    this to the side and just say,
    oh, you know, what we
    say doesn't matter.
    This is also extremely scriptural for
    us as people because the examples
    that I pulled out are really talking
    about God's words, but then you have,
    you know, the example from Proverbs
    where it talks about, you know,
    that your tongue is like the rudder
    of a very large ship and
    it really directs where you're
    going to go. What you speak.
    Both over yourself and
    over other people.
    And so these all of these
    aspects are coming together,
    creating a lot of confusion
    and I think that that's really
    what the devil wants, loves
    about this topic is that he can
    really keep Christians from
    stepping into the fullness of this
    power of our own words as long
    as terms are not clear and
    things get conflated with things that
    are obviously not Christian.
    So as long as people are thinking
    that a declaration and a mantra
    are the same thing, we can keep
    people from really using the power
    of declarations to come into
    agreement with what God has said,
    what God is already doing.
    And so that's why I'm really
    passionate about this topic,
    and why at Pink Salt Riot,
    the majority of our products include
    some kind of declaration right on them.
    We have, you know, our line
    wristbands where there's a hidden
    declaration written on the inside
    that you can flip it see and,
    you know, we have all of our
    charms that have hidden declarations
    small declarations on them.
    And the whole idea is not that
    you just wear them
    It's that you will actually reread those
    words and say them on a regular basis.
    Not because you have the power
    and you create reality and you
    are the genesis of
    your own universe.
    But because you can do so much
    more in Christ when you are
    cooperating with Christ. If
    you think about if you've ever
    gone through any kind of like
    safety training for white water
    rafting or open sea fishing or
    any kind of like more dangerous
    water activities,
    and they really,
    like trained you on how to be
    rescued and receive help.
    The number one number one
    thing is don't struggle.
    Don't fight the person
    trying to rescue you,
    cooperate come into agreement with the fact
    that they are trying to save you.
    This exactly the situation
    in our faith life,
    come to agreement with the fact
    that Jesus is trying to save you.
    He is trying to get you to
    the place where you're going to be
    saf,e cared for, and protected,
    but how often do we fight him?
    And it's not that Jesus is not strong enough
    to rescue us. But he's also...
    He he has told us
    time and time again,
    He's not gonna rescue
    us against our will.
    And so if you are fighting
    fighting fighting,
    I don't want to come into
    agreement with anything that Jesus
    says about me is I think
    the primary block for Chris.
    A lot of Christians are very comfortable
    with what Jesus says about you.
    Jesus is, you know, loves you, wants
    the best for you, wants me to serve you,
    etcetera. Fantastic.
    We need that.
    That's very important and
    I don't wanna denigrate that.
    But I think where a lot of us
    get caught up in struggling with
    Jesus as he tries to rescue us
    is around this idea of coming
    into agreement with what he
    says about us personally,
    that's a whole kind of
    basis of this podcast.
    Is how do we actually come into
    agreement with what God says about us.
    And one of the most powerful tools
    we have to do that is declarations.
    When you use a declaration, you
    can take something just right
    out of Scripture if that's most
    comfortable to you, fantastic.
    That is something that obviously very
    safe, very trustworthy worthy you know,
    there's so many things that God
    says specifically about each
    of us in Scripture. And so we've put
    together actually a downloadable
    of affirmations straight from
    Scripture that you can download
    and use for your own use and
    the links to that are in Youtube
    description and our show notes
    on the podcast so that you can
    have somewhere to start. A list
    of declarations of what God
    says about you that you can repeat
    to yourself on a regular basis,
    not to make something
    true that's not,
    but so that you can cooperate and step
    into something that is already true.
    You can think about taking those
    few moments whenever in the day,
    this works out best to
    include in your life,
    but it's great in the morning if
    you can to take a couple deep
    breaths and even bring to mind
    that image if it's helpful of
    floating in the water, and you
    can fight and scream and tread
    water and freak out
    that's allowed,
    but you can also take up that
    position of the Beloved Disciple
    at the Last Supper and
    just relax into Jesus.
    You can let yourself rest in his arms,
    the fact that you're floating,
    you're in the water,
    but he has got you.
    And then you can repeat several
    of these declarations,
    one of these declarations,
    whatever really resonates with you
    or whatever seems really
    pointed like, oh,
    that's the scalpel I need in my life right
    now. That is exactly where the issue is.
    To repeat that, and use that
    to help relax into Jesus to
    really excuse me let him
    rescue you in that.
    And so when we use declarations
    as they're intended,
    it's not a new age practice
    like some people will tell you
    because new age again is
    about who has the power.
    I think that that's ultimately
    the number one question you
    ask to discern if something is new age.
    Who does this recognize the power of?
    Does this recognize the power
    of a force of nature that is
    obviously less than God, something like
    crystals or the natural elements,
    things like that kind of
    back to basic paganism.
    Then clearly, that's not gonna
    be in line with Christianity.
    Does it recognize the supreme
    power of the individual saying
    you are the genesis
    of this power?
    You are the reason that this is powerful,
    and it's because your will is God,
    essentially in your own universe.
    That's not gonna good.
    That's not gonna be Christian. We
    wanna stay far away from that.
    And that can be kind of the area
    where the affirmation energy
    sits is in this idea that you
    create the reality that you want.
    And so you are speaking these
    things to speak something into
    existence versus declarations
    to reiterate is us coming into
    agreement, ending the struggle
    against what is already
    true based on what
    God has revealed to us,
    so another place that's maybe
    a little bit more advanced to
    receive a declaration from like, we
    talked about you can go to the Word,
    you can go to Scripture and get
    excellent decorations and we've
    got your starter list that you
    can go to in our show notes.
    We also can go to our times of
    personal prayer and receive
    declarations directly from God.
    And you always wanna test these.
    Right? You wanna test
    them against God's Word.
    Is this in line with
    what God says.
    If you are in prayer and you receive from
    God, or you think that you do that,
    you know, you are the most
    powerful person in the universe
    and you should be the person
    in charge of everything.
    Well, let's look, let's test that. That's
    that's not true. That's not from God.
    We can be wrong about what we've
    received and that's why we
    have these wonderful
    backstops of God's word.
    And other faithful Christians that
    we wanna run these things past,
    especially as we're
    learning his voice.
    And we've got a great workshop
    on hearing God's voice as well
    if that is something
    that you wanna grow in,
    and we talk a lot about how do
    we test God's voice and and we
    use really those two
    things. God's Word,
    and the witness of Faithful Christians
    who already know his voice well.
    And when we have tested those
    things we've received and we really feel
    like that's in keeping with God's
    Word, those are great declarations.
    There are awesome things I've
    received from God in prayer that
    are my daily declarations, and
    they've kind of shifted to where
    that makes up the bulk of
    my daily declarations.
    Is things that the Lord has again, like,
    those scalpel words where it's just...
    It's exactly what I need to address,
    what is specifically wrong with me.
    And I can use those things
    to really work in a targeted
    way on those places in my life
    that I maybe have strongholds
    that I haven't fully surrendered
    to Jesus, that I haven't fully
    come into alignment with
    the truth and how I'm viewing my
    myself or living my life, and it's
    a really, really powerful tool.
    And so in general, I really want
    to kind of end this conversation,
    I really want to encourage you to go
    deeply into individual discernment.
    On things like this and really
    remember that social media and
    the internet is
    extremely polarizing.
    And so a lot of times you have
    something like this where we
    have three different terms.
    Maybe there's others that people
    use that I'm not
    familiar with,
    but those are really the three
    that I hear on a regular basis.
    Mantra, affirmation, and declaration,
    they get totally, like,
    thrown around together, conflated
    as exactly the same thing.
    And then everybody wants to set
    up camp in they are all evil,
    or every single one of them
    is the best thing ever.
    And again, the truth coming
    into alignment with the truth
    requires more awareness than that.
    It requires more thought than that.
    To really dig through the weeds a
    little like, okay. What is...
    Let me take them one at a time.
    What do each of these mean?
    Where is the truth in this? And
    this is not telling you that
    you are the be all, end
    all arbiter of truth.
    But I am encouraging you to not just
    take what's laid out in front
    of you on social
    media, especially.
    As the Gospel because we need to
    go to the Gospel as the Gospel.
    And when I look at the Gospel, what's
    right there written so many times.
    Is Jesus sharing with us,
    how we are to use our words.
    How he is the Word, how we really
    have the opportunity to step
    into the promises that he has
    for us by how we use our words.
    And so therefore, we can't
    throw out all of them.
    And, completely get
    rid of everything.
    And that requires some
    discomfort sometimes.
    That requires being willing to actually
    have deeper conversations with Jesus.
    And so that is my bigger, I
    think message and that I wanna
    share with you in this podcast
    is that it is tempting to melt
    into one of the extremes. It's
    very comfortable to do that.
    To just say oh my gosh,
    it's totally this.
    And you just can kind of let go
    and and stop trying very hard.
    It's much more taxing but much more
    fulfilling to find where in the middle,
    the actual truth is based
    on what God actually says.
    And so that's my encouragement
    to you today is to really find
    people that you trust. I hope that
    I can be one of them for you.
    To help you if you're not
    confident having these discernments
    totally on your
    own right now.
    But because that's been a huge
    kind of drive in my life is to
    receive the formation to
    discern these things well.
    And then to share it, with
    the people that I feel God calling
    me to share that it with
    one of which is you.
    So I'm so thankful that you are here
    watching and listening to me today,
    and I hope that this kind of eases
    your mind about using declarations,
    but also helps you kind of draw
    some boundaries around what
    you're not going
    to use as well.
    Maybe mantras and affirmations fall
    outside of what you wanna use.
    I would completely be
    supportive of that,
    but it's really important to
    use declarations to step into
    the truth of what God says
    about you and about everyone.
    It might not be just things
    about you that you struggle with
    and that's okay too. You can
    use declarations for anything
    that God shares with us in his Word.
    I love you all so very much.
    I hope that this has been
    helpful and clarifying to you.
    If you still have questions, leave
    them in the comments, let me know,
    and I would love to address
    those either in response to your
    comment or in future episodes. I hope
    that you guys have the best day.
    I'll talk to you soon. Thank
    you so much for joining me on
    today's episode of the Os
    authentic uprising podcast.
    It is always a joy
    to be with you.
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    I love you. I'm praying for you.
    I hope you have
    an amazing week.


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