Call it what you will, "Fear of Man", "Man Pleasing", being afraid of what others think... I have a problem. I'm addicted to approval.
It's as if I posted myself on Facebook. And I just am waiting for anyone and everyone to hit the like button. Please LIKE me!!!
I don't like being misunderstood. I want to explain. My life. My situation. My circumstances. The reason I'm so tired. My appearance. Whatever. And okay, not really most people can understand. They're not in my shoes. But if you can't understand then at least acknowledge or sympathize or something.
I want you to think I'm a good woman/wife/mom/Christian/writer/friend/sister/aunt/niece/daughter/granddaughter... You get the picture.
I'm trying to give it up. I'm not good. In and of myself I'm downright awful (evil). That's the bad news.
The good news is this. Jesus Christ came and died for sinners. He was God made flesh born of a virgin. He lived a perfect life... not merely free of sin... but perfect in obedience as well. He died on the cross. Was buried. And three days later Rose from the Dead. He ascended into Heaven. And now I await His glorious return.
What does that mean for me? It means If I believe in Christ, that He is who He says He is... that He will save me from my sins and that I am given His righteousness. I am hidden in Him. And when God the Father looks at me He sees Christ's blood... I appear blameless, sinless, and pure because I am hidden in Christ.
What amazing, mind-blowing news. I want it to penetrate every part of me. I want it to affect how I think, what I think about, how I act, what I want, what I love, what I hate, how I live, and what I care about.
I want to be more aware of God's approval of me (because I'm in Christ) than the fact that others may or may not approve of me. Jesus Christ ALWAYS did the will of His Father. I have that... because my faith is in Him. It's not me! But I get credit for it!!!
Wow. So who cares what "man" thinks of me. Who cares about the "approval of others". I have God's approval.
But, I'm still messing up... still living in my flesh. I'm not dead yet... So there is still this struggle.
I don't want to care what others think. And hopefully over time... as I change and grow and mature it will become less and less an issue.
For now, I'm thankful that I have the only approval that will ever matter. God the Father is pleased with me because I am in Christ...and Christ pleases the Father. Sigh. I just want to rest in that hammock of grace. The Gospel is LIFE Changing!!!