“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
I honestly have to ask myself this question a lot. I wrestle through it.
I really have to check my heart for this kind of behavior because I have discovered that deep down, there is a “need to be understood, a need to be approved of” and a desire to be able to “clearly communicate my heart so as to not be misunderstood or misinterpreted”….. and when I feel like that doesn’t happen, I find myself frustrated — forgetting that none of any of that drama matters to God. He sees straight through it, straight into the heart. He already knows my heart through and through.
So where does that all come from anyway? Could it be that I have a desire for approval of men somewhere in my heart?
Could it be that “approval of man” has become more important to me than realizing that God approves of me simply by my faith in Jesus, based on what Jesus did, and not based on what I do? DEFINITELY not from what I do that’s right.
(By the way, I’m determined to be extremely honest and vulnerable today, regardless of how it could make me appear or seem.)
What good is a “good appearance” with a rotten heart inside? How easily can we twist things up for ourselves when Christ is not our focus?
God doesn’t care about our surface level things, He cares about the heart. And there’s no hiding our hearts from Him. There’s no hiding the truth from Him, He is the revealer of truth. His view of our hearts is the only one that truly matters.
Here’s another honest question I have to ask myself:
Do I overly care about how I affect others because of how it makes me appear? *cringe* How it makes me seem?
How silly all of that can become in my head, how ridiculous for me to sit and dwell on any of that when what matters is approval that comes from God, and that has nothing to do with the surface level or anything about how I “appear”…
What happens if I “chase approval of man”?
I enter a danger zone.
A person can “win” the approval of man, but what happens when that “approval of man” goes away? What happens if I begin to focus all of my attention on that and begin to chase it, obsess over it? How distorted my life could become if I chose that path –a path that leads to death and destruction.
“There is a pathway that seems right to a man, but in the end it’s a road to death.” – Proverbs 14:12
The bible is very clear about “approval”…
“What can we say that we have discovered about our ancestor Abraham? If Abraham had God’s approval because of something he did, he would have had a reason to brag. But he could not brag to God about it. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God.” – Romans 4:1-3
Verse 24-25 says,
“Our faith will be regarded as the basis of our approval by God—each of us who believe in the one who brought Jesus, our Lord, back to life. Jesus, our Lord, was handed over to death because of our failures and was brought back to life so that we could receive God’s approval.“
This is the truth. All of the good things we could ever do could never be enough to give us the “approval” we would need…..
But God took care of that situation. Jesus was, “handed over to death because of our failures and was brought back to life so that we could receive God’s approval.”
“Instead, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, not in order to please men but God, who examines our hearts.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:4
I believe God is taking me through some situations where I have to learn to accept and remember that “I’m okay” to not be “shaken” or “affected” or “thrown off” in situations when I don’t win the “approval of man” and when something stupid that I do or say makes me misunderstood, or “thought badly of” and perhaps I find myself in this place of being overly concerned about, “How does that make me seem?”…
…and then I remember that I have to learn to “let it go” and remember that it’s not even about any of that, just get my focus back on Jesus, on serving Him, and get my focus off of “how I appear”… and keep walking, keep learning, keep thanking Him, keep trusting Him.
Thank You, Father. ?☀️