Approval Seekers Beware

Galatians 1:10 NIV caught my attention recently: Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?

Wanting the approval of others is a natural desire. It starts when we are very young.  How quickly we all learn it’s a good thing to please parents and teachers.  Otherwise, unpleasant consequences follow. That habit follows us into adulthood.

To keep approval hunger in check, ask a couple questions: What do I hope to gain if that person approves of me or my work? What will the payoff be for me? Will I get more money, a promotion, peer acceptance, a warm hug, a kind word, or added privileges? Now, take a moment to pray. Ask God if He would approve. Is this action something He would put a stamp of approval on? If the answer is “Yes”, you are moving in a good direction and have shown there is a desire for God’s approval above man’s. If the answer is “No”, your desire is apart from God’s will for your life. The biggest consideration is who’s approval matters most? When God’s approval trumps man’s approval, peace typically shows up. The sooner we grab this simple concept, the happier life will be. Blessings come to those who challenge the need for approval seeking: for self, for parenting, for career goals, and in close relationships.

Yes You Can!

The poem, Oliver Twist, brings forth an interesting thought. How often do I, do you, say “can’t” rather than “can”? Are you mindful to encourage your children to use an I can attitude or do you reinforce an I can’t mindset by the words you use or the example you set? This is a good time of year to focus on Yes you can! Believing something can be accomplished is part of getting the task done well. The poem is a bit silly but also a good reminder: Oliver Twist you can’t do this, so what’s the use of trying? Touch your toe, touch your knee, clap your hands, away we go.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. Timothy 1:7 NIV