“Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bound servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 AMP
I love what a friend said recently, “I do not try and win the approval of people because they did not save me nor redeem me.”
What an awesome, true statement!
Why do we seek approval of people so much?
Our American culture is engrossed with what others think and long for their approval.
My greatest need for approval came the minute I set eyes on my first child, maybe even before that… when he was in the womb. Motherhood is no longer an opportunity for women to encourage each other in their journey, but has become extremely competitive, seeking to have the best kid. “My honor student beat your homeschooler” is what we read on the back of our cars. “Have the Best Kid by Friday” is what sits on our coffee tables. Mothers feel the pressure to have the best kid, whatever that may look like. So much pressure to breast feed, home school, Pinterest party make. Moms are blasted everyday on social media, as moms from all over, post and “pin” their highlights from the day.
Recently, I have felt this need of approval creep back into my life.
My writing journey began as an act of obedience to the Lord. I had felt his nudging months before I started the blog. I argued with Him for this very reason…comparison trap. I did not want the world judging me and critiquing my every thought. I was scared that I would fail and my failed efforts would be highlighted on social media. In yet it was His idea and His dream through me, I was just co-laboring with Him. I have even felt, at times, the Holy Spirit taking over and writing for me. I started out only seeking His favor and His approval. Slowly, over time I found myself seeking approval from others. I felt myself being sucked into the comparison trap. I began to check and recheck how many people commented or shared what I posted that day.
You can read more about how I surrendered my dream on my post, What Happens When You Let Go, and Let God. My Balloon Release
We all long to be noticed and approved. At this very moment as I sit by the pool, my children have all said, “Hey, mom look at me! Look at what I can do! Watch me, watch me!”
Isn’t that what we ask the world when we long for approval? “Watch me, watch me! Look what I am doing!” Isn’t that what we are saying every time we post or “pin” all in the name of the gospel?
Through social media our culture has become obsessed with self. Needing to impress and prove while we compulsively “follow” the lives of others and report about ours, rather than simply live them. After-all, we are the only generations in all of history who invented “selfies!”
God has put the innate desire in all of us to be seen and heard. He longs for us to surrender and allow him to fill this need. He wants us to live from the place of being fully seen and known by our Heavenly Father. What would our Facebook pages look like if we lived from this place?
There is so much on displayed for the world to see, all in the name of the gospel. It comes down to the matter of the heart and your reason for posting your intimate time with Jesus for the world to see. Is it to gain approval of man or do you truly desire to bring glory to His name? If no one commented or liked it, would you still feel excepted?
I love what JR Vassar wrote in his book Glory Hunger, “God will not make us happy by filling up our world with pictures of ourselves so that we can feel important; that is narcissism.”
We meet a woman in Mark 14, who lived from the place of being fully known and seen by Jesus. Her name was Mary and she crashed a party, pushed through a bunch of religious men, to pour her entire life onto the feet of whom she loved. Why would she do this? Mary had spent her entire life seeking the approval of others, giving herself in ways she never thought, thinking they would fill that void she felt. Until one day she met a Man, who got down in the dirt with her, and who did not need anything from her. He simply wanted to love her. She came to that party to seek the approval of one man, and silenced the voice of the others in the room to hear only His voice.
“Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me?”
The question we need to ask ourselves is: Are we living from a deep place of being fully known and seen or are we begging for the world’s approval?
My prayer for today: “Search me, God, and know my heart: test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24
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