our hearts are all aching for someone, or many people, to tell us we’re approved.
it’s a longing in all of us to be told we are enough and accepted. it can be a poison that infiltrates our bones and destroys who we were made to be.
if we let it go on long enough, we’ll soon find ourselves sick.
consuming thoughts about gaining approval in the eyes of men are rooted in self-obsession. we’re looking and running after what only God can give us. we’re looking for love in all the wrong places, from all the wrong sources because it can only be found in Christ alone.
no matter how hard you try, the world’s approval will never be enough! but you will find yourself destroyed as you keep searching after what will never fill. man’s approval can never satisfy you because it’s not supposed to. we were not created to live to please man “in whose nostrils is breath” (Isaiah 2:22).
and we can’t serve two masters. we have a choice: serve the world, or serve Jesus Christ.
I think I’ve got an idea:
let’s long to be broken of our selfishness and pour our lives out for others.
let’s forget about ourselves and look only to Him.
let’s care less about whether someone approves and more about their soul.
let’s stop craving approval from a world that hates the God we serve.
let’s step out in faith and forget “I”
John Piper’s words cut straight to my heart,
“So my counsel to every Christian who struggles with the fear of man’s disapproval and the craving of man’s approval, which is all Christians, more or less, is this: Realize that in Jesus Christ, in a solid, God-chosen relationship with Jesus, man’s disapproval cannot hurt you and man’s approval cannot satisfy you. Therefore, to fear the one and crave the other is shear folly. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) — free from the fear of not getting other people’s approval and craving it as though you just got to have it.
And the truth that set you free from that is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). You don’t need to fear anyone’s disapproval when God almighty is for you. Think about it. Let it sink in. And the other truth is that knowing Jesus, looking outside ourselves to the glory of the Son of God in the gospel in the triumph for us over evil, looking to him is all-satisfying. “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8).
So the itch is satisfied, not with successful self-regard, but with breathtaking Christ-regard.”
and so the solution to this obsession isn’t to love ourselves more and be more confident in our individuality, it’s to forget ourselves, to lose ourselves in His grace, to reach up and out to a hurting world. it’s to become consumed instead with pouring ourselves out and living to make others rejoice in our God. it’s to forget about our own agendas and reputations and dreams and concerns and lay them all down at His feet.
is this something you struggle with? me too, girl! leave me a comment or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share what helps you fight this and live for an Audience of One!
check out John Piper’s whole article on this: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/gospel-wisdom-for-approval-junkies