For they loved praise from men more than praise from God.—” John 12:43
Who do I look to for approval? Where do I look to make sure my life is on track?
Some people say in their hearts:
“It is the world and people. I look to the world for instructions of conformity. It is easier to fall in line than to stand out like a daisy among weeds. It is easier to anticipate the thoughts in people’s minds and predict what I need to do to avoid conflict, acquiesce hostility or value clashing in relationships to preserve my inner peace. This is just another way of moving up in the world, another way of leveraging relationships.”
Well, Beloved it does not matter what rationale you provide, if you’re seeking the approval of man then you have sold yourself to the slavery of opinion. This is an ongoing battle for many people, and I too, fight this war.
Often, I attach my value and the quality of work I do not based upon who I am in Christ but based upon the praise and nods I received. God is freeing me from this bondage. In Christ I am free from value matching. His death on the Cross confirms I am a princess, a child of God, a redeemed soul. Jesus said, “Tory you are worth dying for.” Then, Jesus being the Son of God, validated His words with actions. He demonstrated this truth to me, so how dare I look to someone else for approval when Christ’s love to me is sealed in His blood.
Another thing is I have no idea what thoughts, feelings, or memories people think. I am not God. I cannot read people’s minds, so why burden myself with false suggestions and deductions which are often irrational. Even more so Jesus is right, everyone is flawed and battles their personal monsters. Our insecurities, infirmities, biases, and demons plague our mind and we cannot authentically see ourselves or others as they truly are.
People are not perfect.
I am wholly imperfect.
In this way, my friends thank God that He teaches us how to focus on the audience of one. He is the One. Our judgment at the end of life and human history comes from God. Therefore, also look to the Lord God for our applause and appraisal.
This pulling and breaking applies to all of us. People run the world, so to some degree we are subject to the opinions, judgements, and desires of others, but it does not mean people’s approval rules us and it does not mean we submit or pursue them.
What people think of me is “none of my business.” Instead, what a great opportunity for me to fill up my mind with what the Word of God says about me and you.
So what does God’s Word say about you and me?
Isaiah 61:10 says, “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Look at who you are and believe it. You are these things because Jesus Christ has made it so. My soul rejoices meaning the part of me beyond flesh, skin, bone, the essence of who I am, the physical intangible material of what I am is happily praising the Lord. My soul proclaims, “Yes to the Great I am. The Alpha and Omega for He has saved a wretch like me.”
God did not save us because we deserved it or because His loved us. It is the very nature of God that saves, loves, changes, and endures. God is merciful and longsuffering, because He just is. Can you imagine the terror if God resembled the faultiness of humanity or the selfishness of any lesser, inferior being? Thank you God that you are absolutely perfect.
For those who have accepted the free gift of salvation, we are saved, redeemed, and sanctified.
We are clothed in the righteous robe of Jesus Christ.
We are adorned in the loving and lavish fashion of a bridegroom, a priest, or a bride.
God sees us in this preciousness. Out of all the opinions and viewpoints, only God’s opinion had the power to change our circumstance, only His thoughts toward us used Jesus to rescue us from the pit of hell. Therein, lock into your mind to live your life for an audience of One.
Because, God sees us who we truly are and His approval never wanes.
Copyright © 2020 by A Meeting at the Well