From whom are you seeking approval?
Seeking approval from the world or people is a dangerous game that keeps us stuck in trying to prove yourself.
It’s exhausting to try and make other people happy with how you live. Often you end up either resenting them, or resenting yourself for not living your own life. You see others live their lives. You try to compete because you see them get approval. You compare. You push yourself to prove something – only to end up disappointed in not being able to get there.
I think sometimes we think it’s the end of the world if we’re not getting recognized, but the truth is, maybe it’s not the world we’re supposed to get recognized by. That’s a standard of the world, where everything is about getting internet famous. But is that really your goal? If it is, you may find yourself desperately disappointed and unfulfilled. If you get to this place, you must know that you are looking in the wrong direction and seeking approval from the wrong place.
Stop giving those people so much power (you know who they are, they are the ones who disapprove of you or judge you or make you feel not good enough when you’re around them). They don’t deserve to own your power. Those who put you down should never be your judge and jury in the first place.
It took me a very long time to get to this place. It is not an instant thing. It takes work on your part to stop seeking approval from a place you are not going to get it. In fact, it will cause pain and if you keep signing up for that pain, it will hurt more and more every time you let them tell you whether or not your good enough.
Joyce Meyer has this great book called, “The Approval Fix”. It’s short and a great read for those of you who really struggle.
She says this,
“If we are addicted to people’s approval, we will always experience pain when that approval is withdrawn – as it always is.”
We must come to the point where we stop seeking approval from the world and turn to the one who gives it unconditionally. But we have to seek it. We have to seek Him.
As believers we must remember that we are Christ’s messengers, ambassadors and servants.
It reminds me of the way our world is today. Many people use their platforms to talk about political and social issues. Some will ask me why I don’t. But it’s a boundary I’ve set with myself. Having lived and breathed in the middle of the world of politics and seeing how much more volatile and vicious it’s gotten even since I was in it almost 20 years ago, it’s not worth my peace. It’s not worth my connection with God. He called me to the ministry I do in writing and teaching Scripture and I’m committed to that. There are those who don’t like that I don’t because they’d probably like it if I could talk on issues that blame the President. But I’ve worked for a President. I’m just not going there. God has given me clear direction and I can’t worry about those who don’t approve of that. I believe that the only truth is Christ, and that’s where I want to lead people. Where does that bring me? To a place where I have peace with God. I cannot expect that I will gain popularity or approval from many in the world, and that’s okay. But that’s not where I’m looking for it.
I follow Christ, not the crowds. I am his servant.
That means, just as Paul said in Galatians 1:10,
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”
He says it again in 1 Thessalonians 2:4,
“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”
I don’t share the Word to gain approval or popularity. I share it because of how it’s helped me and because people need and want truth. They need spiritual milk. I share it to give Him glory and point people to Him, not me.
This morning I was reading about Paul’s hardships in Chapter 6 of 2 Corinthians. It’s funny because Mike and I have had a rough week so when I read it, it helped me (as Scripture always does.).
vs 4, “In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.”
vs. 8-10 We serve God wether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander or praise us We are honest , but they call us imposters. We are ignored even though we are well-known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
I will continue to serve God, whether people approve of it or not and that’s a peace I can only get from Christ.
So, are you seeking your approval from the world, or from God?
Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, appreciate it. “Whenever you want to marry someone, go have lunch with his ex-wife.” by Francis William Bourdillon.