What is it exactly? It’s the constant desire of people (beginning in their young years) to have the approval and validation of others.
In the world of social media this comes in the form of status updates such as: Like my status for a rate.
Once someone likes your status you go and give them a “score” on their wall of what you think of them. Does the score rate your beauty, your talent, your personality, or your sense of style? Who knows. I don’t think it makes a difference.
In the end… that teenage girl or boy is sitting there, waiting until their peers respond to them and give them a “score” of some sort. And if they get a 10, what happens? What about if they get a 5… or a 3? All of a sudden your self-worth is being weighed on a scale of 1-10 by your own peers. And if you don’t “score” well…. Well, too bad for you.
The other one is the “TBH” (to be honest)” where once you “like” someone’s status they have to go on your wall and write their honest opinion of you.
But this need for approval doesn’t stop when you step out of the doors of high school into the “real world”. Many times it continues on through every stage of your life.
People don’t necessarily verbalize it anymore. They don’t go up to their peers (as teenagers do on facebook) and say “hey, what do you think of me? On a scale of 1-10 what would you give me?” but they live their lives often times not even for themselves, but rather for the opinions of others.
Do you dress stylish enough? Do you drive the fanciest car? Is your house the biggest and best on your block? Do you have the coolest group of friends? What title do you have in front of your name? Do people look up to you? Do they follow you on twitter, facebook, instagram or wherever else you can be followed?
We worry way too often about what people think of us. What people say about us. And we live our lives seeking that constant affirmation from others that we need. The validation that tells you “Yes, you’re good enough. You’re pretty enough. You’re talented enough. You’ve got it together enough”… and we forget what this life is really all about.
See…one day when you stand before God He won’t be asking the people around you what they thought about you. What they rated you as. What they saw in you. The only thing He’ll be talking to you about is what HE thought of you. And I don’t know about you…but I highly doubt He cares about what clothes you wore, what car you drove, and what house you lived in. He won’t ask you about where you stood or what position you held in the eyes of others. All He will care about is where you stood in HIS eyes.
When you seek approval from others you become a modern day Pharisee. You start caring more about what’s on the outside of you and what people will say about you more than what is going on inside of your heart and what God will say about you.
Instead of waiting to find glory in Christ alone you start loving glory from man (John 12:43). You live to be popular in their eyes. To find some kind of worth from their approval. And once you get into that cycle it’s a hard one to get out of.
We all struggle with being “people-pleasers” to some extent. We want to please our peers, our family, our bosses and that’s not always a bad thing.
It only becomes a bad thing when you choose to please people over pleasing God.
Such as when preachers “forget” to preach about eternity spent in hell if people don’t repent from sin and focus on preaching about the prosperity they will have with Christ because it’s what people want to hear.
Or the Christian students in high school who allow their standards and morals to slip and they do things in the dark when no one sees that they would never be proud of just so they can fit in and be accepted in the cool crowd.
Or the girl who cares more about perfecting her clothes, hair, and make-up to get as many compliments from others that she can instead of working on building her character in Christ and finding her validation in Him.
Or the businessman who keeps on climbing the ladders of success higher and higher to be esteemed in the eyes of his peers and he forgets that he barely sees his family or his kids, and in the end his worldly achievements without God won’t mean much of anything.
It’s a sad day when you trade in approval from God for the approval of others, because that usually leads you to a place of self-righteousness in yourself, rather than righteousness that is found only in Him.
I have a challenge for myself and for you: stop worrying about what people think about you. Stop measuring yourself by what you see in the mirror or by the opinions of others. Jesus determined your worth a long time ago when He lay His life down on the cross for you. You may have $5 in the bank, no titles behind your name, and no validation from others but to God you are one thing alone: priceless. You are His absolutely beautiful masterpiece. Crafted by His own hands. Purposed by His own heart.
If you are seeking validation, seek it from one person alone: God. Ask Him to show you what He thinks about you. And live your life for His approval, not anyone else’s.
After all… everyone else is the same as you: a mere human being. What difference does it make what number you get on their scale?
In this world it’s all about where you stand with people…but with God it’s all about where you stand with Him.
Live beyond the standards of the world… live beyond the opinions of others about you…live for God and at the end you will never regret wasting a second worrying about whether or not you are a 2 or a 10 in someone else’s eyes.
Don’t be a modern day Pharisee today. There are so many more important things in this world than what people think of you.
Live in a way that honors and pleases God and don’t worry about the people you do or don’t please in the process!
Be blessed! Anna… ♥
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.- Galatians 1:10
[Image creator unknown. Please respond if you know the author so credit can be given.]