Here is a quick thought as we start our day. Who are you seeking approval from each day? Your boss? Your co-workers? Your kids? Your spouse? Your students? Maybe even yourself?
None of us are immune to seeking approval, we all need encouragement and want to be accepted and appreciated. Sometimes though, it is the desire for approval which leads us down the wrong path.
I was reading through Galatians this morning and this verse really jumped out at me.
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. NIV Galatians 1:10
Many times when I feel underappreciated, lonely, unloved, left out, discouraged, I have a tendency to shift my motives. This past year someone (I will call him Fred for the sake of the story, I don’t think I know a Fred) criticized a specific aspect of my ministry. It was not a big deal, no one else cared. Honestly it should have gone in one ear and out the other, but it did not. I was already kinda throwing myself a pity party and this little bit of criticism is all I needed to put me over the edge. I wanted appreciation and approval. I was hungry for it.
It was not to long after this criticism I was trying to make a decision and found myself thinking, “what would Fred think?” You know, the typical WWFT. The decision would not affect Fred in the least, but still there I was making the decision asking myself this question. Why? Approval and acceptance is really important to me. I had to stop myself and reframe my thinking. Now I do not like telling all of you this story because I would love for you to think that I am immune to petty, little insignificant things, but I am not.
The reason I write this is because I think most of us are wired this way, especially the ones who say, “I don’t care what others think about me.” Here are a few questions before you get going this morning. Is your marriage about trying to please God or your spouse? I am guessing if both spouses mind is set on pleasing God their relationship between each other is going to be pretty good. Are you trying to please God or your children? As parents there is often the temptation to give them what they want rather than what they need. Are you trying to please your boss or God, and this is where it gets difficult, because now we are talking about your paycheck.
So this morning as you begin your day, step back and ask yourself, who are you trying to please today? Live today for God and His glory.