Hi…I’m Mike and I’m an ‘approvaholic!'
I think I just made up a word, but hopefully you get what I am saying. For most of my life I have sought and desired the approval of others.
I don’t think I am alone in the desire to get others’ approval. In fact, I think a lot of people these days struggle with seeking the approval of others! How many times do we post on social media to be noticed or to get “likes"? I once heard someone say they read their Bible and books to see what they could post or tweet! How many blog writers add a “tweet” that's just one click away for you to promote their content? How many times do we think, “did anyone notice?”
Jesus confronted this when He told us to not do things in front of others to be applauded by them, or to be seen by them, or to be heard by them.
Jesus provided the solution to this approval issue when He simply said, “your Father knows” (Matthew 6:1-18). Our Father sees and isn’t that enough? Aren’t we suppose to only seek His approval? (Galatians 1:10) Jesus said that if we want and pursue the approval of others then we will get our reward, which will be just that - a very small temporary sense of pride. But if we seek to please our Father in Heaven, then He, who sees in secret, will reward us in secret, and His reward will always be more than what any person could ever give us.
I’ve learned a lot about my identity and who I am in Christ, but the struggle is always there. I still find myself wanting to be noticed, praised, and sometimes if I am honest, I will do things for the wrong reward…the praise and approval of men vs. the praise and approval of my Lord! The truth is, He already approves of me! I am His boy, and He loves His boy. There is nothing that I can do to make Him love me more or less. The same is true for you!
Your Father knows…and He approves!