I sometimes struggle with wanting to seek the approval of others. This is evident to me when I talk a lot about something really awesome my kids did or when I share too much about my own life. Yes, some sharing is needed for friendship building but not when it’s done with the hope of feeling good enough.
So I’ve been thinking – what would happen if I simply didn’t care whether or not others approve of me? How would I feel? What would change?
For me, I think it’d look like this:
- Not feeling embarrassed or worried that someone may think I’m a bad mom when my kids act out.
- Embracing my imperfections to the point that I can laugh about them.
- Not hiding my successes out of fear of looking “too perfect” to others.
- Explaining myself less.
- Using more exclamation points when I write. (!)
- Serving cereal for dinner once a week. Un-apologetically.
- Et cetera.
Not caring about meeting others’ approval feels like freedom.
And I wonder: why do I ever care about meeting the approval of someone else? Why do I sometimes feel the need to hide how great or not-so-great that I’m doing? What does that accomplish? Those who truly care about me don’t even need or want me to search for their approval.
Plus, successful approval-seeking may help me to feel good, but only temporarily. And then I’m left trying again, working harder, just to try to find more approval. But in the end it doesn’t matter. It’s suffocating. It’s exhausting. And it’s costly. It costs me my well being, my sense of freedom, and it can hurt my relationships with those I love the most.
In the end, it doesn’t even matter what everyone else thinks of me. It ultimately only matters what Christ thinks. Did I love Him fully? Did I serve Him well? Did I encourage my family to glorify Him above all else?
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NKJV)
Trying to be approved by the world is an impossible task that can never be fully accomplished. But in Christ? It’s enough. I’m enough. I’m loved. I’m approved. I’m complete.
And so are you.