Devotional

“Keep me from the traps they have set for me, from the snares of those who do wrong. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, but let me escape.” – Psalm 141:9-10.

We all want others to believe in us, to love us, affirm us and value us for who we really are. We all love affirmation. We all desire significance and recognition. We all benefit from being encouraged by others. And yet, this silent struggle for approval can often become an over-riding motivation that keeps us on an unpredictable roller coaster of insecurity and instability.

Seeking the approval of others or being under the influence of others is often a trap. Most of us have been there. There are different reasons that we fall into this trap. There is only one sure way out of this trap. however.

In truth, we crave the acceptance and approval of men, but we need it from God. We long to know we matter to others, but we forget how much we matter to Him. We desire approval and favor of our peers, but we lose sight of the approval and favor we already have in Christ. While we tend to seek these things from men, ultimately, God is the only One in whom we can find our deepest desires completely fulfilled.

Satan wants to trap us with our need for acceptance and affirmation. He wants us to spend our time in self-promotion. It is easy to get caught in this trap of being motivated by the approval of others. This is when we need to remember that we are already accepted by God so we don’t need to gain acceptance.

The approval of man seems futile when you consider that someone will always be better at something, more beautiful, or more talented, creative and successful than we are. Rather, we ought to enjoy what God has given us to seek His purpose to the best of our ability and to God’s glory. Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”  When we come to the point where we view everything as an act of worship to God, we will finally ignore the approval of man. When what God says is the only verdict that matters, man’s opinions won’t matter any longer. Only God can enable us to stop worrying about what others might think if we do what is right. Look at it this way: the tendency to work for others’ approval is a lifelong battle. And learning to rest in our acceptance in Christ is a lifelong growth process.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How do you handle rejection?
  2. Why should we trust in God rather than worrying about the fear of rejection?
  3. What can we do this week to put our dependence on God rather than the approval of man?