Col. 3:23-24 (NIV) 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Do you ever catch yourself waiting to see if someone you esteem or who is in leadership notices you? Are you ever tempted to think if you could gain a particular person’s approval, you would feel better about yourself and maybe you would be moved into the position you believe you deserve?
It seems as if most of us are born wanting to be known and acknowledged. We want to be recognized, noticed. Somehow we believe that if others just saw what we are doing or the kind of person we are, that we would get the credit we believe we are due and it also would boost how we see ourselves. We would be validated. We would be visible. We would be recognized for the difference we make. It would matter that we exist.
And yet, looking for approval from others can be risky business to our emotional state and dangerous to our walk with God.
No individual will ever be able to give any of us enough recognition, attention, affirmation at all the right times to cause us to feel consistently valued, worthwhile and appreciated. All persons from whom we seek recognition are only human themselves. They have the same need. None of us were created to be everything any other person needed, for we were all created to find our true, authentic, ongoing, never-ending, life-long value in the eyes of God.
He is the One who made us. He is the One who has put each of us in our place. He knows what strengths and weaknesses we have from the world’s perspective. He also knows that His ways are supremely higher and better than the ways of humanity (without God’s direction). He loves us infinitely just as we are. Through Him we have infinite value. He knows how He created us and how He desires to use us for His purposes, no matter what others would think or say. Only through His eyes can we consistently be comforted and encouraged of our incalculable worth.
Valuing ourselves as we are seen through the eyes of others sets us up for deep disappointment and is not God’s way. Remember, as Christians we are called to live (walk through our days) as Jesus did. Jesus worked only for the approval of the Father and in fact, only did what the Father told Him to do. He understood the Father’s supreme place in His life (even though He was an equal member of the three-in-one Godhead of the Trinity) and thus set aside His own will, to always do the will of the Father, recognizing His role was to make the invisible Father visible while Jesus lived out His physical life. This is our role as well.
John 8:54 (Amplified) Jesus answered, If I were to glorify Myself (magnify, praise and honor Myself), I would have no real glory, for My glory would be nothing and worthless. [My honor must come to Me from My Father.] It is My Father Who glorifies Me [Who extols Me, magnifies, and praises Me], of Whom you say that He is your God.
John 14:10 (Amplified) Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the (His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power).
John 14:23-24 (Amplified) 23 Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.
24 Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me.
1 John 2:1 (Amplified) ……..[it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright, just, Who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action].
If we are worried about what others think or tempted to do things in order to be noticed by someone, we are not trusting God to do and be who He says He is. He is all-powerful; He opens doors no man can shut and shuts doors no man can open; He is the only One with the supreme plan and the ability to execute it. When we are focused on being recognized by individuals, we are not turning to God as our answer. Whatever He has said He will do, He will do. And He will do it His way, in His timing, for His glory. When we seek the approval of people it undeniably inhibits our ability to hear and walk out God’s will.
If we are not in God’s will there will be no life satisfaction. If we are not in God’s will, He cannot protect and provide for us in the same way (because we have chosen to walk away from Him and not with Him). If we are not in God’s will, we have missed the purpose for our lives.
Jesus is our example. Certainly Jesus did not look for acknowledgment, affirmation or accolades from the leaders in His day. Only the contray, they criticized and condemned Him, looking for an excuse to execute Him.
There is joy in looking to be noticed by God alone. There is great inner peace, fulfillment and unmitigated blessing. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be cone, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:9b-10 NIV)
Phili. 2:1-11 (NIV) 1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and one in mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset at Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Matt. 6:1-6 (Amplified) 1 Take care not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven.
2 Thus, whenever you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets like to do, that they may be recognized and honored and praised by men. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already.
3 But when you give to charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly.
5 Also when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already.
6 But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.
Selah! [Pause, and calmly think of that.]
PLEASE view the new music video for “RESTORE” (with choir) on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL (Made by upcoming, Holy Spirit-filled film director, Olivia Mowry.)
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.