My Approval Seeking Self

Hi, my name is Lori.

And I am an approval seeker.

Nice to meet you.

May I sit down now, please?

So I’ve been thinking a lot about this approval seeking thing. When I began blogging in 2011, I dove headfirst into how I am a self-proclaimed approval seeker.

Ok, but whose approval do I seek?
• those who I look up to
• those who I see and think that’s where I want to be someday
• those who I want to model my life after

So, is there someone who fits this billing for me? Is there someone who is all that? But what if, after I find them, I find out they are a flawed human being just like my own approval seeking self? (gasp!)

In His Word, God gives us a blueprint for how we should live our lives. There are many people whose lives are lived out in the pages of scripture. Their heart-felt stories are divinely written. Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is alive and powerful. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all scripture is God-breathed and profitable. But we see it all come together “with skin on” in the life of Jesus Christ. We look to Jesus as our single standard of how to live … and love.  In Him we have the only model of perfection who ever walked the earth. There is no one else I can ever look to and expect to never be disappointed in some way!

He is always faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9)
He will never disappoint (Romans 5:5)

Now, before you get all preachy at me, I know good-and-well that I can’t earn God’s love.  He loves me just the way I am – always has and always will. There is nothing I can ever do that would make God love me any more or any less (Romans 8:38)

But love and approval are two completely different species. I love my kids no matter what they do, or don’t do.  Does that mean I always approve of things they do? Of course not. God loves me rough-edges and all. But do I sit back and use that as an excuse for not growing spiritually? Eeek! I would be scared silly to see where I would end up if I tried to go it on my own.

So is this approval seeking thing just a character flaw I must learn to suppress? I don’t think so. God has created me with this bent toward approval seeeking.  So it must be there for a reason, right?  (‘Cause God don’t make no junk!) I must learn to effectively use it in a God honoring way. I must learn to turn this “character flaw” into my own Jesus barometer.  An internal gauge for how I am doing in my relationship, or walk, with Jesus.  When I feel that familiar insecurity of not measuring up (to other people), it is an immediate red flag for me to check my Jesus levels.

Am I spending time daily with Him? (Psalm 143:8)
Am I seeking Him above all else? (Matthew 6:33)
Am I renewing my mind through reading His Word? (Romans 12:2)
Am I capturing every thought as obedient to Christ? (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Am I running my decisions by Him first? (Proverbs 16:3)

When my Jesus levels are full, I do not have those spaces that beg to be filled, looking elsewhere other than Jesus to fill them.  I am content in who I am because of Whose I am. When my focus is on Jesus, I am more prone to see others as He sees them … to react as He would react … to show more compassion … to, well … to live more like Him.

With God’s grace, Jesus’ shepherding, and the Holy Spirit’s nudging, I have the ability to wholeheartedly seek His approval, transforming my approval seeking self into a Jesus seeking self!

2 Comments

  • Connie

    Thank-you for this. I really enjoyed reading it, especially your Jesus Level check up and Pro. 16:3. Who am I really supposed to be doing this for? It really helped me to get my focus back on track.

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