Grace For The Journey
We are all addicted to approval.
- We want approval from our family.
- We want approval from our friends.
- We want approval from our colleagues at work.
- We want approval from our neighbors.
- We want approval from our church.
- We want approval from the stranger on the street!
The problem with approval addiction is that it is never enough, and when it’s withheld, you go through withdrawal.
There is an answer to approval addiction, and it comes from the pages of Scripture.
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, “. . . we have been approved by God . . .” The only key that unlocks the door leading to a life released from approval addiction is the certain knowledge that you are approved by God. Knowing we are approved by God frees us from running on the perpetual performance treadmill of other people’s opinions. We are no longer driven by what other people think of us because we know that we are the objects of God’s desire – so much so God sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.
When the approval of others is no longer driving your life, you can stop comparing yourself with others to see if you measure up. In God’s eyes you always measure up . . . even when you don’t . . . because of what Jesus did on the cross.
God says in Jeremiah 31:34, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
I heard a saying many years ago that has stuck with me: “You wouldn’t care what others thought of you if you realized how little they did!” We spend far too much of our time worrying about what others think of us, without ever realizing they are far too busy worrying about what others are thinking about them to be thinking about us!
Peter found himself obsessed with the approval of others (Jewish legalists) because he forgot the approval he already had in Christ. Paul explained in Galatians 2:11-12. “Now when had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.”
We all have a bit of Peter in us, giving someone more power over our lives than we entrust to God. In those moments we are living purely godless, horizontal, anxiety-filled lives, devoid of the power of the Gospel.
Paul asked in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man?”
Living in the knowledge of God’s approval frees us to live for God and not for man.
So . . . who have you been living for lately – at home . . . at the office . . . in your church – God or man? It is only by resting in the truth of the Gospel that we can live lives marked by the worship of God and service of others, because we know if we are in Jesus, we are approved of God. That can never change, and will never change . . . How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so!
God says in Malachi 3:6, “For I the Lord do not change.”
God also says in Isaiah 43:13, “I act and who can reverse it?”
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”