We all like to be appreciated. Psychologists tell us that it is one of the greatest desires in every individual. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that you enjoy being appreciated - we all do. Whether it's a pat on the back from your boss, a handshake of appreciation from your Pastor, or a simple "thanks, mom" from your child for making pancakes for breakfast, we all want to be appreciated. Appreciation provides us with a sense of purpose, and it is one of the most powerful motivators.
But we get into dangerous territory when we begin to rely on the approval of others to determine our self-worth or the level of joy in our life. We can begin to volunteer at church so everyone will see what good Christians we are. We can pray with a little more zeal to show friends how spiritual we are. We can try to be the perfect mom and wife in public so people will notice and recognize our accomplishments. If we are not careful, we may find ourselves doing the right things - for the wrong reasons.
If you are constantly seeking the approval of others to determine your happiness, you will find yourself living a very unhappy life. If you put too much emphasis on what others think, you may make decisions based on how you think others will respond, not based on your own purpose, destiny, desires, or God's Word.
Let God remind you who you are in Christ today!
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 (NIV)