Whose Approval Rating Matters?


Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval.
Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed
and who correctly explains the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15 NLT)

For my entire life, I’ve wanted and longed for approval. I wanted to please my parents. I wanted to please my grandparents. (And I had eleven of them to please!) I wanted to please my teachers. I wanted to please my employer. I wanted to please my husband. I wanted to please my children. I wanted to please my grandchildren. Most of all, I wanted to please God.

At least I thought I did. For quite a while, I convinced myself that all of this was true. Especially the pleasing-God part. In his kindness and mercy, God did not immediately confront me with the truth he saw in my heart: I wanted to please others so that they would be pleased with me. I was searching for the worth that perfect performance would bring.

I mistakenly thought that pleasing others meant “making them happy.” I did not want anyone to feel disappointed or sad. And if someone was not happy I thought it was my job to cheer them up. Being a person with high emotional sensitivity, I quickly noticed the emotional climate around me. When I sensed any sign of anxiety, sadness, or anger, my mind started designing a plan to fix the situation.

I discovered some surprising things:

  • Some people feel happy no matter what I do.
  • Some people feel unhappy no matter what I do.
  • I can only make one person happy. That person is me.

Instead of making others happy, something impossible for me to accomplish, I want to serve others in a way that benefits them and does not damage me.

I realize that it’s not my job to make God happy either.


 Whose acceptance do I value?            
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world sees only outward beauty;
 God sees quality beneath.
  
 Whose acceptance do I value?
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world rejects the ones who stumble;
 God restores his fallen sheep.
  
 Whose acceptance do I value?
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world discards the old and feeble;
 God upholds those small and meek.
  
 Whose acceptance do I value?
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world's applause is for a moment;
 God's honor is for eternity.
   


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