We live in a culture that is desperate for approval. It’s a longing to be accepted, to please other people, to be included. We are hungry for that type of community. But it can take over your life. It’s a life of fear. What if they reject me? What if they don’t like me? What if I disappoint them? What will they think of me?
People will compromise their beliefs and convictions just to be fit in and to be accepted. A teenage girl will delete an instagram photo because it didn’t get enough likes. We see people changing their appearance, their school, their job, and even their personality, just to be approved by others.
In Galatians 6:10, the Apostle Paul said, “Vs. 10 – “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
There were some difficulties in the church and Paul wanted to make it clear that his first responsibility was to please God.
I believe for everyone of us, there are times in life when this is a struggle. We all want to be accepted. We want to feel included and approved. We want to fit in.
You will come to a place in your life where you have to decide whether you will please God or man.
If you are going to fight the temptation to please people you must come to really believe that God’s approval is the only one that counts. People are fickle and so are their opinions of you. If you are always working to gain favor from other people, and do what they think you should do, you will eventually work yourself into a state of exhaustion and despair.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:4 the Bible says – “we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
How do you know if you struggle with the fear of man – approval of others? Let me ask you a few questions.
• Have you ever struggled with peer pressure?
• Are you over-committed? Do you find it hard to say no, when you know you should?
• Are you always second guessing decisions because of what other people might think?
• Are you afraid of making mistakes that will make you look bad in other people’s eyes?
• Do you fear other people’s opinions?
• Are you easily embarrassed?
• Do you tell little white lies to make yourself look better?
• Do you fish for compliments?
• Do you frequently put yourself down in the hope that others will disagree?
• Do you struggle with being open and intimate out of fear of rejection?
Proverbs 29 – the fear of man is a snare (it’s a trap, you are caught, you are now controlled by the snare.)
Here’s a truth that will set you free: Know that you only have to please one person. His name is Jesus.
Doesn’t this simplify your life? You only have to live for an audience of one. You only need one person’s approval – God’s approval.
Today’s Challenge: Believe this truth. We have been approved by God on the basis of the cross. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross satisfied the justice of God. Our debt has been paid. We have been forgiven. Through faith we have been brought into a relationship with God. We are now his children.
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