So many of us can fall into the trap of trying to find our identity in the approval of others. We try to please everyone so that they’ll like us and we’ll finally feel good enough. But this can be exhausting. We end up saying ‘yes’ to everything because we’re afraid of disappointing others and having them think badly of us. We scroll through endless social media posts and compare our lives to the highlights of other people’s. We try to post the best snapshots of our lives to gain the likes and followers we crave. But people-pleasing doesn’t fit with kingdom-living. In Galatians 1, Paul wrote: ‘Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.’ Our identity shouldn’t be founded on other people’s opinions. We’re all going to make mistakes at some point, and we’re all going to be on the receiving end of criticism. If we’re basing how we feel about ourselves on the approval of others, we’ll feel crushed every time that approval is taken away. But God’s love for us never changes. He values us whatever we do because we’re His children. That doesn’t mean we can act however we want. But when we understand our identity in Him, we’ll find ourselves naturally wanting to follow Him and live out our kingdom-purpose. In 1 Thessalonians we’re told, ‘Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts’ (2:4 NLT). We, too, should only be aiming to please God. His opinion is the only one that really matters.
This week, make two of your social media posts encouraging and uplifting to others, rather than about trying to get their approval.
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