I love to watch the travel channel, one of my favorite shows is “Man vs. Food”. Here is some information about me, I do not like to cook, I enjoy watching people cook and I like to try different foods. If you have not seen the show in every episode the host tours an area and eats at different restaurants and ends up at a place that has some sort of extreme food or food challenge. Anyway I was reading my book by Joyce Meyer “Approval Addiction” about how the only approval that we really need is God’s approval, as I read I began to think about the show and how each week the host will take on these challenges. Now there is nothing wrong with challenges, but he will go to almost any extreme including stuffing himself with food almost to the point of being sick. If you think about it we do the same think with people that we want or dare I say need approval from.
Many of us, myself included, have struggled with approval. In the past, this is an area that I have had to deal with and let me just say it was difficult. My need for approval began when I was very young. My parents divorced when I was 8 and since my father was not always around I always felt that I needed approval from him. Most of my life I have felt that I have never met my fathers expectations and therefore have not had his approval. That was the first person I needed approval from, the rest followed in line. In essence I have spent many years trying to be what others wanted me to be and desiring their approval verses God’s approval. Several years ago, I was working at a job that in the beginning was wonderful. I received raises, all of my evaluations were great, I was pleasing my boss, her boss and her boss’s boss. Everything I was asked to do I did, even if I did not have time, or if I needed help. My need to please and have approval sent me on a downward spiral. Eventually I lost that job, I have to admit looking back it was the best thing that happened to me. I not only wanted others approval of me I needed others approval of me. My perspective was completely wrong. I had caused man’s approval to out weigh the importance of God’s approval. During this time in my life it was man’s approval vs. God’s approval and unfortunately I was choosing man’s. As you can imagine I hit rock bottom, and when I did, I cried out to God and yes He forgave me and began showing me how the only approval that I needed was His approval. Now I do still have to keep this issue in perspective and check myself.
Psalm 139: 17-18
17How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
You see God cares about my thoughts, my ideas, my passions and my desires. Truth is He cares about me. His approval is all that I need. God’s approval is free and abundant, where mans approval is costly and does not always come. Sometimes approval that you feel you need from man you will not receive, and usually comes with stipulations and conditions. Let me explain, recently I had a wonderful friend of mine remind me of something. She said not everyone is going to like or approve of what God has called you to do. I began thinking about that and she is right, and the truth is I do not need anyone else’s approval. God is the only approval that I need or desire.
Question: Whose approval are you needing or desiring is it man’s or God’s? The choice is yours.