Do you ever strive to gain approval from other people?
I know I have, and found it to be discouraging, exhausting, and disappointing.
What happens when we feel ignored, or that our opinion doesn’t matter?
I’m preaching to myself here, and taking notice of the “all about me” pattern. It’s easy to fall prey to these feelings, leaving us discouraged and a bit grumpy.
Here are a few traps. See if you can relate to some of these:
- Saying yes because a “no” might disappoint someone (aka, people-pleaser syndrome)
- Allowing the opinions of others to determine our worth and value
- Feeling like an outsider; excluded; invisible; rejected
- Desiring validation of our gifts and talents; confirmation from others that what we do matters, that our contributions make a difference.
- Trying to impress, or feeling we have to prove ourselves to gain acceptance
I can relate, can you?
Perhaps it’s a pride issue.
Pride is sticky, sneaky, and fleshy. That’s why Romans 8:1 says walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Could it be a lack confidence, not in ourselves, but of who we are in Christ?
Who exactly are we in Christ?
A new creation; a delivered, set free, sanctified, child of God, among other things. A woman of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ. A woman clothed with strength and honor (Prov. 31:25).
Praise God, we are changed.
So how can we be free of striving to be good enough, accepted, approved of, appointed, or chosen by people?
True acceptance is found in Christ.
Let’s remember who we are in Christ. It’s not all about us, it’s all about what He can do through us for His glory.
We can’t allow our feelings to bring us low enough to skin our chin. The enemy would love us to believe lies that render us ineffective.
When we stop seeking approval from the crowd, and go straight to the Word of truth, we discover our true acceptance is found in Christ.
Let’s look at Scripture, and soak in this truth. Are we ready for this? Cause the truth will set us free:
- “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
- “For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4
- “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
So how can we apply these scriptures?
Let’s ask ourselves these questions:
1. Do I believe God’s Word is true?
2. What’s my motivation (e.g.,seeking glory for my own accomplishments, or desiring to give glory to God)?
3. What’s more important to me, gaining approval from people or approval from God?
4. Am I trying to please people or God?
Remember, our hearts can be deceitful so let’s not fool ourselves. Look deeper, because we may think one way, but our actions prove otherwise. It’s nice to gain approval from others, but we shouldn’t require it.
Accept this truth: God appoints us, approves us, accepts us, and loves us unconditionally. He has plans for us, opens doors for us, and His plans cannot be thwarted. Hallelujah!
God’s approval is all we need, and when we are walking deeper in faith, righteousness, and truth, He is glorified. That’s the ultimate purpose we should be seeking.
Lord, we give you thanks and praise on this good day you have made. Help us to seek your Word for truth of our value, that we may study it and show thyself approved in Your eyes. We pray our intentions will be pure, and through You, we can break free of the bondage of seeking approval from others. Your approval is all we need. Help us to be encouragement to others who struggle in this area, that we may speak life-affirming words that glorify You. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Have you ever struggled with this issue? Share your thoughts…