The I AM says I am approved!
“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4
My name is Missy and I am a people pleaser. There, I said it! Isn’t that the first step to recovery? Indeed, it is; the first step of recovery is awareness and acknowledgement that there is a problem. And, Houston…we have a problem. Even as I write these words I am fighting my thoughts of hoping that you "approve" of these written words you are reading.
Perhaps I can trace this addiction back to my early years. I am the daughter of a mom who was physically abused by her husband, my biological father. And although God rescued us from that situation and she divorced him, somewhere deep down in my little 4-year old soul, I felt it was my responsibility to make sure she was happy. I wanted to be the perfect daughter and do things that made her smile. And without a doubt, the feeling that we receive when someone approves of us and accepts us is as addictive as any drug.
I’m a big girl now and I still struggle with longing for the approval of others. I want so badly to be liked, to fit in, to be seen as worthy in the eyes of others. This is a stronghold in my life, a sin I struggle with and one that the enemy loves to use against me. But I am learning to give this struggle to God. I surrender it to Him on a daily basis. In the Good News Translation of Proverbs 29:25 we read, “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.” I no longer want to be controlled by the opinions of others. I’m tired of saying yes, just because I am afraid of saying no. I want to be free of the fetters of human approval. I only want to please Him. My heart’s desire is to live out Matthew 6:33, seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness!
In Genesis we read about creation. During these six days God created the heavens and the earth; the sky and the land; the water and the plants; the stars, sun, and moon; and all of the creatures. And with each creation He declared it was good. But He saved the best for last, mankind. And when He created man, He proclaimed, “It is very good!” He put His seal of approval on us when He made us! He doesn’t approve of us because of what we do, He approves us because of what Jesus did! In Genesis 15:6 we see that Abraham was approved by God not for his acts or for adhering to the law, but by his faith. Then, in Romans 4:22-24 we read, “This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness — for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” In these verses we see that the promise to Abraham is also a promise to us. We are approved by God not by what we “do” that pleases Him but by our faith in Him.
Jesus didn’t need the approval of man as He was approved by God. Sisters, neither do we! When we repent of our sins and accept the sacrifice of the cross we will one day stand in front of our Heavenly Father and hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant! This is my daughter with whom I am well pleased!” So today, when you feel rejected by family or friends, invalidated by your boss, or unwanted by the world, clap your hands together and claim, “I am approved…because He said so!”
Additional Reading: Genesis 1; Exodus 23:2; Luke 16:15; John 5:30, 41-44, 12:42-43; Acts 2:22; Romans 14:12;
2 Corinthians 10:12; Galatians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:15
I praise You today for all that You are; You are the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the I AM! I know that You created me on purpose for a purpose. I am who You say I am. The enemy wants to hold me back from living out the calling You have placed on my life. Lord, saturate my mind with the truth of Your Word so that I may remember that my identity is found in You and only You. Remind me throughout the day, when the world comes tumbling in, that You are in control. Reveal Your will in my life as I only want to please You. No matter how difficult my day becomes I will remember that I can do all things through You (Phil 4:13). In Jesus' name. Amen