This is a message from one recovering people-pleaser to another.
If you do not understand that opening sentence, you can skip reading this.
If it immediately grabs you, then meditate with me today—-
Always seeking others’ approval was the way I lived until the addiction blasted my life into a gigantic shipwreck during my late twenties and early thirties.
Then God used the disaster to teach me all about my unworthiness and His grace—mercy and forgiveness wrapped in unconditional love.
I continue to be amazed and so thankful at the way God takes even our most terrible choices and decisions and builds new things from the broken lumber of our wrecked ships.
And yet—this is one addiction that still tries to lure me back into slavery. You who are also approval addicts know. You know that it’s a subtle thing. Even when you think you are standing guard, when you say you’ve learned your lesson, when you know that you don’t want to cave in to manipulation—even then, you feel that old call that says, Choose this, and your friend will be happy. Or, Live this way, and you’ll be respected and admired, or Do this, and he will love you more.
Those sneaky, snaky tentacles of desire for approval still rise up within me, and it’s all too easy to succumb to their power.
But today a verse came to me that cut through the power of that desire and made my choices very clear. Paul is writing to the Galatians, and he makes this point: It’s a matter of who we want to serve.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant (Galatians 1:10).
There you have it, plain and simple. We each have to make a choice: Who do you want to be? A servant of Christ, or a slave to the approval of others?
Christ says He came to free us. From all kinds of slavery. When we make choices based on our hunger for the approval of other people, we’re still living under the power of that slavery. If we choose to make Jesus our Lord, then those old powers that controlled us must be broken.
I firmly believe—because I’ve experienced it—that Christ can break those powers and addictions. Yes, I still fight old addictions at times. The enemy has not given up trying to derail me. But Jesus is teaching me His freedom, and I want to belong, totally and whole-heartedly and solely to my King.
It is His approval I seek, more than any other.
He set us free and made us heirs of all He is and has. Why would we choose instead to live as slaves ?
Let us prostrate ourselves before Him, our Creator and Lord, and ask Him to rescue us. Let’s pray for each other.