TODAY’S WORD FOR TODAY
FREE FROM PEOPLE’S APPROVAL
‘We are not trying to please people but God.’
There’s a world of difference between performing for people’s approval, and being free to minister to their needs because you know you already have God’s approval. Striving for approval is like any other drug; you can never get enough of it. And like all drug addicts you go crazy when it’s withheld. It places you at the mercy of other people’s opinions, and as a result you live on an emotional roller coaster. That’s not how God wants you to live! Paul was free to speak the truth in love: to confront people or to be gentle with them. When someone told Paul they didn’t like him, he didn’t lose sleep over it because his security and self-worth weren’t built on their acceptance. ‘We speak as those approved by God’ (v. 4 NIV 2011 Edition).
Paul didn’t go around comparing himself with others, demonstrating his superiority by trying to be top dog or the one who’s always in charge. Knowing he already had God’s approval set him free from such anxiety and meant he could enjoy the life God called him to. When we’re immature, we worry about what others think of us.But as we become more mature, we realise that most of the time they aren’t thinking about us at all. They’re too busy thinking about themselves – or worrying about what we think of them! Knowing you have God’s approval gives you the strength to deal with criticism and conflict because you’re secure in your identity. And your identity is this: you’re redeemed, called, and approved by God.
© 2017: This devotional is produced by UCB, free of charge through the generosity of our supporters. As a gift to the body of Christ, permission is given to Churches and Christian organisations to copy up to a maximum of 52 daily excerpts per year. Excerpts must acknowledge The Word for Today as the source, give the UCB address and inform that free issues of the daily devotional are available for the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The Word For Today is written by Bob and Debby Gass