"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Gal 1:10)
I'm sure most of you, like me, have heard this before. However, as I read it again tonight, it really was thought provoking and convicting. It caused me to examine my life and really see the areas I struggle with most when it comes to approval. Truth is, I HIGHLY value the approval of man. I care way too much what people think about me. I go to great lengths not to stir up trouble (I know this sounds good, but motives are all wrong). I spend way too much trying to make sure I won't say or do something foolish that will make me look bad in front of others.
It really helped me tonight to look to see whose approval I am trying to win. To see who it is I'm trying to please. To once again be reminded that if I am seeking man's approval, I am not being a servant of Christ. They don't go hand in hand, they don't mesh, and really, they don't even overlap. If I'm selfishly seeking man's approval, that's me telling God that what people think about me is more important than what he thinks of me. That's sad. It's ridiculous. Yet, in my pride, I choose not to see it that way. I justify it. Minimize it. Say "I can do both, it's no big deal." But it is, because it's sin, and sin is a HUGE deal.
Lord, help me to care more about the way I represent you, rather than the way I represent myself. Let my thoughts be about how I can bring glory to your name, not recognition to my own. Let me care about what others think-- not about what they think of me, but of you. Lord, you know every motive I have. Please let my motives bring you glory. Help me to see my sin as it really is. I don't want to make light of it. I'm tired of justifying it. Ultimately, I want to be more like you, and you aren't living for man's approval. Keep me focused on the cross, where you humbly died so that I can live for you. Amen.
*Sorry this was so long. My intention was to keep it short and just post the verse. But, as most of you know, I'm terrible at keeping things short when thousands of things are going around in my head.*