Satisfying My Thirst for Approval

Jesus said in  “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  If anyone believes in me, rivers of living water will flow out from that person’s heart.”
The Gospel of John, chapter 7, verses 37-38

Frequently, I thirst for approval. It’s a human desire and a human need. God promises to fulfill this thirst, and he does so when I turn to him. Sadly, he’s not always the first one I look to.

In her book, Free of Me: Why Life is Better When It’s Not about You, Sharon Hodde Miller describes seven mirrors we commonly look into in our search for approval. As I read her book this week, God gave me insights which I recorded in the following poem.

 Sometimes I seek approval
 From family or friends;
 My vision is distorted
 When looking through that lens.
 I lose sight of Jesus.
 My love for him grows dim
 In his grace and goodness,
 He calls me back to him.
 I focus on forgiveness
 Instead of on my sin;
 I regain hope and courage
 And, in strength, rise again.
 I rise again to worship
 My Savior and my God;
 Then, gratefully, I work
 For his accepting nod—
 I know I have acceptance.
 Approval’s something more.
 It takes my faithful effort;
 Obedience is its core.
 Obedience flows from love—
 Love that I’ve been given.
 Oh what joy it is to be
 A friend of God in heaven!
 That friendship costs me everything
 It must be my one desire.
 I cannot cling to other loves
 And retain the Spirit’s fire.
 An all-consuming love for Christ
 Transforms my soul and spirit
 So that from sources outside of him
 I no longer search for merit. 
 Jane Ault 


 What makes America great?
 Is it the money we make or how we relate?
 How do we relate those at our gate?
 Who gets to come in and who has to wait? 
 Whom do we love and whom do we hate?
 Must we all agree or can we debate?
 What makes America great?
 Is it due to the way our government runs?
 Is it the size of our militia and high-powered guns?
 Can greatness be measured in stocks and bonds?
 Does it matter how we acquire and spend our funds?
 Do we see our skyscrapers but not our slums?
 What makes America great?
 Does everyone have a steak on their plate?
 How do we treat a prison inmate?
 Do we believe an addict can become straight?
 Whom do we favor and educate?
 Whom do we choose to isolate?
 What makes America great?
 Is it simply a matter of fate?
 Or is it due to the choices we make?
 Who should we congratulate?
 According to God, how do we rate?
 Are we humble enough to admit a mistake? 

 What makes America great?
 For what do we live? For whom would we die?
 What makes us laugh and what makes us cry?
 Is what we’re pursuing truth or a lie?
 Do we have the courage to not comply?
 By saying nothing, what do we imply?  

 What makes America great?
 Is it the flag we fly on this Fourth-of-July?
 Is it a celebration of days-gone-by?
 On victories past, can we rely?
 What do we see and what do we deny?
 What will have changed by next Fourth-of-July?
 Jane Ault