People can be addicted to a lot of different things like alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, and food. But did you know that it’s also possible to be addicted to approval? When Moses chose seventy leaders to help govern Israel, he told them, ‘Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone’ (Deuteronomy 1:17 NIV). That’s advice that Peter should have taken: ‘Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group’ (Galatians 2:12 NIV). When our identity is wrapped up in other people’s acceptance, our sense of self-worth is always in the hands of others and we’re set up to become approval addicts. That’s not how God wants us to live. Other people’s approval or disapproval can only affect us if we allow it to carry more weight than God’s opinion of us. Jesus was free to speak the truth in love because He didn’t feel the need to win the approval of people by saying what they wanted to hear. We can spend a lot of time worrying about what others think of us, but what we should try and focus on is pleasing God and following His will. There are times when pleasing God means we won’t be able to please people, but as Paul wrote: ‘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 NLT).
Set reminders on your phone every hour that just say ‘Galatians 1:10’, to help you remember that your goal isn’t to please people, but to please God.
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