seeking approval

I have seen a common theme behind the fear of pursuit; having had multiple conversations revolving around the idea of complacency all because failure grips us. But every bloom begins from a root and I believe many of us struggle with a broken one. We (I) am very much a reactionist. I look for approval in others- the smile after a joke, the concern from an idea, the confusion from an action. Craving and thriving off the reactions of those around me. It can be my motivation just as much as my crutch.

There was this particular day; a peculiar moment; without any substantial loss or gain at hand, that had my chest filling with air at max capacity. I couldn’t breathe or focus on the situation because the idea of letting this person down overwhelmed my entire being. For whatever reason this day I realized how often my heart pounded like that. That is no way to walk around life, and I quickly understood my deafening need for God that second.

A few beliefs came full circle once I understood this. God wants us to go after Him. Follow, pursue, learn and know Him. By doing so, we recognize His undoubtedly love for his enemies, as well as holding back from judgement. Two specific disciplines that I find to be very difficult at times. However, this connection rocked the boat.

If I wholeheartedly loved others, then I am free from judging them. If that sin no longer tempts me, I forgive and plead, rather than hate and grimace. If that were my reaction, I have no foundation to worry about how they might judge me.

In one simple path, I broke down the rationality of what chokes me. The point is we are not here to please each other, but to please our Lord. What pleases Him? Loving one another. I no longer allow myself to freeze in a moment of panic. The thoughts and whispers of those around me will not break the love I will show them.

Galatians 1:10 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.

This section of Galatians is addressing the inner struggle we sometimes have with the idea of Jesus’ amazing grace. At that time, these men were still trying to place rules and regulations with the idea of trying to “hold” onto their salvation. But if that were the case, there would have been no need for a savior (Jesus). As believers, we accept Christ as the living sacrifice, son of God, and resurrected. Therefore, we believe in His grace. The idea of pleasing man over God stops with that truth.

Lord,

Flip my heart so that it understands the beauty of what it means to please you. Break down my insecurities so that I may not rely on the approval of man, but seek you and your word only. Allow me to recognize this sin, so that I may go after you, and instead of bowing to flesh, bow to you. Father, there is not enough praise in the world to be given, for your love and grace that is so undeserved. Don’t let me forget that.

7 thoughts on “seeking approval

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