Getting Over Approval Addiction!

 

Who Are You Performing For?

Yesterday, we took a look at Joseph and the tough choices he had to make concerning his destiny.  It basically boiled down to his choosing between what others were telling him, what he was telling himself or what God was telling Him!  He made the choice to get over needing the approval of others and went with His Creator!  There are several important things we learn from Joseph and the way he stepped into his destiny!

Destiny Is Found On The Inside Of Your Heart!  We need to be careful to listen to advice and be open to others, but ultimately what they say has to agree on the inside of us with what we hear our Creator saying!

This can sometimes be a very hard place, because when it does not agree and you make a choice that does not line up with what they think is best, you may fall out of the good grace of others when you stay true to your heart!

Often, people who are for you will say “even if you don’t take my suggestion, I’m with ya!”, but we quickly discover that this is just not true when we make a decision that they don’t agree with.  Some people want to control you for their good, not yours!

It is tough to move forward when people, especially so-called friend are against you and you will often find yourself in a place where they may not be for you, but if you have God’s approval – press on!

One of the hardest realities for me to accept is that there are some people who are never going to give you their approval!  You battle is not against them, don’t waste your time!  Let God fight your battles!  Be your best and follow the dreams God has given you!

God speaks to you about you!  I’ve noticed, especially among church folks that God gets blamed for a lot!  We say “God told me this!” or “God showed me that!”  I do believe that God speaks with His children and I also believe that God is showing us stuff all the time.  But God will not tell you something about my life and not tell me!  People will try to use spiritual language to try to manipulate you to get you to do what they think is best!  They usually have good intentions, but good intentions are not enough when it comes to messing with someone’s destiny.

The Only Approval That Matters At The End Of The Day Is God’s Approval!  Sometimes to gain God’s approval, you have to be willing to let go of man’s approval!  This has to be one of the hardest battles that I have ever had to face, but at some point, you will have to make the difficult decision to let go of what man wants, so that you can chase after what God wants!

Paul had battled with the same temptation and finally began to experience some growth in this area which led him to say in I Corinthians 4:1-5   1 This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

When you start to live your life in this way, you need to understand it will not be easy.  I do not mean what I am about to say with any disrespect:  People will leave you, but if they leave, then you don’t need them!  If they leave you, then they do not love you the way they say.  They love self or their ideas more than they love you.  When someone really has your best interest at heart, they are willing to stay and work it out, so that everyone benefits.

God is the perfect example here.  If anyone ever deserved to leave us, then it would have to be God, but God promised to never leave you or forsake you!  God is in control and He has an amazing plan for your life!

You have a destiny!  God created you on purpose for a purpose!  Don’t forget this and please do not lose sight of this!  Very well-meaning people may not understand what God has put in your heart, but stay faithful anyway!

Here is a very big lesson:  You can’t become what God has created you to be with the approval of all of those around you!  You will never have 100% approval.  You have to learn to say it and mean it:  “I love you, but I don’t need your approval – I’m        living for God’s approval!”

Here are a  few important tips to help you stay on track:  1.) Keep a good attitude!  You will be tempted to have a bad attitude when people around you get a bad attitude, because you have not chosen the way they want you to choose!  2.) Shake off the negative!  Bad attitudes will lead to negative thinking and living.  Shake off this negative and keep shaking it off.  This will sometimes require a whole lot a shaking!  3.) Stay in faith!  You have to make sure that you are talking to God through prayer and listening to God through His Word.  Stay faithful and true to what He has taught and is teaching you!

Promotion Does Not Come From The People, It Comes From The Lord!  Stop playing up to people!  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.  You don’t have time to waste!  You are either going to please man or God – if you are trying to please people, then you are not a servant to Christ!  (Ouch!)

Romans 13:8-14   8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Be your best and God will take care of the rest!  Most of us can quote Proverbs 3:5-6, it is a great guide for how we are to live a life that does not suffer from approval addiction.  It says:   5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

At the end of your life, you are only going to stand before One!  Everyday the only performance that matters is the performance for your Audience of One!  Make it a good one for His glory!