Monday, June 23, 2014

A Recovering Approval Addict



I am a recovering approval addict.  There.  I said it.  Now you know me.

I wrestle and struggle with the opinions that others have of me.  The stupid part is, that it's not just confined to those I love, but perfect strangers as well.  I want everyone to like me.  I want everyone, I literally mean everyone, to think I am cool, right, intelligent, funny, and a good mom.

But the problem is...not everyone likes me.  There are people who don't like how I raise my kids.  There are those who have rejected me for following Christ.  There are folks who make judgements about my marriage and (gasp) love life.  Huge bummer for an approval addict.

A weight was lifted off my heart this week when it sank in that not everyone is going to like me.

It sounds like an obvious statement, but to me it was a revelation.  One that brightened up the room and allowed me to take a deep breath.  It was a heart change.  Only one that God can do in a person.  He simply adjusted my perspective.

Galatians 1:10 says:

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.

That hits me kind of hard.  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Am I so concerned about what others think that I value that more than God's opinion of me?  If I put the approval of others above the approval of God, how many times will I deny his will in order to gain their human brownie points? 

Sometimes I make decisions that wouldn't seem logical to anyone else, especially a stranger looking in from the outside.  But those decisions are based on the Holy Spirit which lives in me.  

I have accepted the truth that I am not of this world, and rejected the lie that I must conform to it.  Not everyone is going to like me.  And the bigger picture?  I think Francie Winslow says it perfectly:

"...I was CREATED to be filled with God’s approval; sealed with HIS tender gaze of affection.  Wandering around, trying to get filled up by people’s opinions of me is simply a distraction that keeps me from my destiny."

That is such sweet news to me, friend. My striving for the approval of others is not just exhausting, but it is unnecessary and counterproductive to the work God is doing in me.  Set free is what I am!  

So, on days that I feel broken or not good enough based on the judgements of other sinners like myself, I have these promises of God to cling to:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
    there is no flaw in you.
Song of Soloman 4:7 (NIV)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)

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