Hi, my name is Matthew, and I’m a recovering “Approval Addict.” Like most people, I crave the approval of other people. When I post on social media, I check regularly to see how many people have “liked” my post. I judge a picture on how I look in it, and I often judge how I look on how people TELL me I look! When I preach a sermon or a Bible Study class, I gauge its effectiveness on the positive comments of the people in the room. I love the approval of others ... sometimes more than I love the approval of God.
Jesus did not live that way. He did not need man’s endorsement or recommendation. He was not interested in how many people congratulated Him on His sermon or posted about it on Instagram. He fixed His eyes firmly on His Heavenly Father, and He lived for an Audience of One. If people were offended but God was please, Jesus was good with that. If people were impressed, Jesus almost shrugged. After all, He knew what people were about. He knew the fickleness of the crowds. He set His sights on something more permanent.
Living for the approval of the others means performing every day for the reward of a temporary illusion. How exhausting! How unsatisfying! People pleasers must spend each day pretending and guessing, “What I must do to impress you?”
God wants something better for you. He knows you and accepts you. In fact, while you were still a sinner, Christ died for you. He’s the only one who loves you like that; the only One who can.