report card imageJust about everything in this world is rated; hotels, motels and restaurants; airlines, cruise lines, and cars; books, photographs, and computers; clothing, luggage, and umbrellas; mattresses, linens, and floor coverings; cleaning supplies, paints, and lumber; cameras, TV’s, and tablets. On and on it goes. Sometimes I feel like I don’t dare make a purchase unless a product has been given a 5 star rating by someone else. But who is that someone else? And why do I need the opinion of so many others to make a decision? Would I dare buy something that is unrated?

As a culture, it seems that we place an out-of-proportion significance on ratings. We love to get good ones; we hate to get bad ones. And what does it mean if we receive no ratings? To be unnoticed can be the most painful rating of all—depending on how secure we are in our identity, it might cause us to believe that we not worthy of consideration. If the approval of others is what we use to measure our worth; then, under the stress of constant evaluation, how can we retain integrity and not give in to angry-defensive rhetoric? This seems to be a challenge for all current political candidates. I’m tired of listening to their tracking polls.

Up and down their points go, and the emotional climate of our nation fluctuates according to these ratings.  I’m concerned that we might be making decisions based on approval points rather than on concrete facts about what the candidates believe and whether or not they live up to their values. How can they (or we) possibly stick to our values in a world where everyone else’s approval is the sign of quality?

What about God? According to the Old Testament prophet, Samuel, God’s perspective is different than ours.  When ancient Israel was in the process of choosing a king, Samuel, said, “The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT). Jesus, too, indicated that sometimes God’s assessment is opposite of ours; he said,” But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first” (Matthew 19:30 NIV).

In the light of these things, I hope that you will reflect on the following questions.

Whose acceptance do I value?
Whose approval will I seek?
The world applauds measurable strengths.
God sees the gold that’s far beneath.

Whose acceptance do I value?
Whose approval will I seek?
The world rejects the ones who stumble.
God restores his fallen sheep.

Whose acceptance do I value?
Whose approval will I seek?
The world discards the old or weak.
God upholds those small and meek.

Whose acceptance do I value?
Whose approval will I seek?
The world’s applause is for a moment,
God’s honors is for eternity.

8 Responses

  1. So well said Jane!! I once heard someone say that statistically no matter what you do there’s 10% of people that just won’t like you. It is sad to see so many people trying to find their worth from other people. It’s always my prayer that people would realize how much God loves them and find their worth and value in Him!!

  2. You are perfectly right on point. Who are we to seek after the approval of others, and to base our decisions on others’ ratings? Only the Lord’s standard is what we should seek to duplicate/pattern for others. That is our integrity. Thank you for reminding me of this. I’ve been very stressed about the current political arena. Everyone in it is behaving so badly. I will endeavor to maintain my integrity in my discussions and decision making.

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