By Andrea Merrell
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.
Galatians 1:10 NLT
As a former, rehabilitated, dyed-in-the-wool people pleaser, I can tell you it’s a dead-end street. Once you think you’ve proven yourself to people, made them happy, and lived up to their standards … the standards change, leaving you back at square one, defeated and frustrated. It’s a vicious cycle that produces nothing but hopelessness.
Everyone needs approval and acceptance, but sometimes—especially when we have a low opinion of ourselves—we find ourselves constantly seeking the approval of others while trying to convince them we're valuable.
I’ve learned the hard way that the only approval I need is God’s. He's the One I need to please. And the good news is that I don’t have to jump through hoops to get there.
There’s a popular Christian song that talks about not needing our name in lights or seeking the applause of others. Why? Because in our Father’s eyes we are both famous and adored, and He knows us by name. In His opinion, we're both valuable and special.
Paul said in Galatians that he was not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. Pastor and author Bob Gass says:
Until you quit agreeing with the opinions of those who criticize you, you’ll remain locked in a prison of your own making. When your critic’s opinion becomes your opinion, you’ve built a prison inside your soul with only one prisoner—YOU. The fact is, some of the people you’ve spent your life trying to impress may never be impressed. And you need to accept that from God’s perspective, it doesn’t matter.
If you need approval, stop trying to please everyone. Look to God for what you desire. He already thinks you’re the bomb. 😊
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)
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