"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."
"Do these pants make my butt look fat?"
"Do you like the way I rearranged the living room?"
"How is your dinner?"
"Do you like my new haircut?"
And the questions go on and on and on.
Have you ever uttered one of these or something similar?
That makes two of us.
It is called seeking approval and if you are seeking approval from anyone other than Him, it can lead to sin.
By seeking approval or acceptance from others, it steers you off the path of seeking His approval, onto a path of people pleasing.
For as long as I can remember, I seek approval and acceptance for just about everything I do, and if you asked me why, I couldn't even give you a reason, I just do.
This is a source of contention within myself, as well as with others around me and I am certain there is a healthy balance between coming across with a "don't care" attitude and a "do what ever anyone wants, so as to keep the peace" attitude.
Why do we walk around with a need of validation from each person we come in contact with during the day?
Why do we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to the whims of others?
Why can't we just accept ourselves for what we are?
For what He made?
I want people to like me, I admit that and not just a select amount of people, all people.
Weird, since I am not a huge people person to begin with.
If I find out someone doesn't, it isn't a pretty process that goes on within me.
Usually I will start with some form of downgrading that I heap upon myself, such as I should have said something differently or worn something different or laughed at something I didn't laugh at, or I admonish myself for laughing when I shouldn't etc...
Next up, self-doubt comes creeping along, and with self-doubt comes the tearing down of my self-esteem, then come the seemingly endless questions and by the end of the cycle, I am beat.
All because someone may or may not like me.
Because I don't believe in myself, I seek out others to reinforce me, to believe in me.
The downside to this is that until I can believe in myself, none of what others will say is going to matter, because the one person who should believe it (me) doesn't.
In the past few weeks, I have learned a valuable lesson...
The most important thing about seeking the approval of others, is that the approval is already hidden within you, you just don't want to believe it, so you are looking for someone else to tell you, what you already know.
Whether it is you did a good job at work, you lost some weight, you cooked a great dinner, you are beautiful or you are handsome, or you cleaned the bathroom really well this week etc...
Ask yourself, "Does He approve?" and "Do you approve?" (of whatever it is you are seeking the approval for) and then stop right there...
That is it.
His and yours.
Now, someone may come along and say something that contradicts with what you think and the next thing that should pop in your head is this ~
There is your first step to gaining confidence within yourself.
I remember when I started this blog, about 3 years ago and all I cared about were how many people would respond in the comment section, talk about a self-inflated ego...
I didn't care what the comments were, just that I had some, and once I started getting them and realized how mean some people can be, I never wanted another comment on my blog again.
Some of the emails/comments I would get weren't so kind and I took it personally, as an attack on the whole of me and not just a very small aspect of me.
I had to go back to the beginning of my blog recently, to help a friend with some upheaval that has been going on in her life and I knew that some things I had previously written would be beneficial to her and as I was searching some of my older posts, I had to shudder at times.
I won't say my writing was awful, however it was very self-involved, which in turn showed me how self-involved I truly was a few years ago, I started this blog to figure out where He fit in my life and in the beginning I barely spoke about Him.
The quickest way to build your confidence, is to stop seeking the approval of others.
This has been a conversation point with my sister and G quite a few times in the last week, because they both want me to seek the approval of Him and myself and no one else.
Two days ago, as I was heading home from work, I noticed a new sign up at a Church near my house and on the sign in black and white was the following ~
"The Greatest Failure In Life Is Trying To Please Others."
See how He works?
He could see my struggle with this, allowed me to flail around for a bit and only then did He answer.
The power of His approval is the only approval you should be seeking.
You can run around and continue to ask each person until you get the answer you want, which could lead to you becoming angry, frustrated and sad, or you can stop and just go to the One who already knows you.
You know right from wrong and as a Christian, there is a living Voice within you, one that pricks your heart when you are about to do something questionable...
That same Voice is also there to tell you that you did a good job today, that you are indeed beautiful, that you are indeed handsome, that you made a great meal, that you are talented, that you are gifted, that you are worthy, that you are so very loved.
That is the only approval you will ever need.
I know the pictures don't "go" with my post...
If you don't know what type of trees they are, these are Joshua Trees...
A tree that represents, triumph in the face of hardship.
Day After Day, Our God Is Reigning
He's Never Shaken, My Hope Is In The Lord
Time After Time Our God Is Faithful
Trustworthy Savior, My Hope Is In The Lord