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  • Renata Joseph

Seeking Approval

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In this digital age, our lives are on display for others' approval (or disapproval) 24/7. It's tempting to try to curate our offerings to only show the good; sunny days, smiling faces, success. Even if I try not to be so one-sided; it's actually kind of hard to come up with something to say or share on days when nothing is new, good or hopeful. So, instead of faking it, I'm more likely to remain quiet on days like that.


In these divided times, it can be difficult to share our uncertainties, for the fear that people will consider us "lost" or having a crisis of faith. Faith grows as it is tested and wrestled with. Pat answers don't indicate a depth of faith, but rather a lack of introspection.


On the other hand, we may actually feel strong and certain about something God is doing in our lives, or hopeful about our tomorrows. Sharing those assurances publicly subjects them to scrutiny by others, well-meaning or otherwise.


In the Bible it talks about a young man named Joseph, who believed himself to be blessed among his many brothers. Through dreams, God had revealed to him his future greatness, but rather than wisely keeping it to himself, he told the others and got himself in a bunch of trouble. In their jealousy, Joseph's brothers sought to bring him down a peg and sold him into slavery.


Maybe you, too, have a God-given sense of purpose or destiny. Maybe you've been given a picture of your tomorrows, or passion for something you have yet to see. It may be wise to keep your own counsel, rather than airing it out on public forums.


In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7:6


I admit this is a hard one for me. When I am excited about something God has shown me, I tend to want to process it with lots of people. Another piece of the puzzle is my need for validation. I want others to approve of what I'm thinking, doing, saying, even where I'm heading in my walk with God. I want to share the journey with others, but if they are not the right confidantes, it can leave me feeling trampled. I need to discern who to confide in and seek only God's approval.


Paul said, "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


When I'm tempted to disclose private promises from the Father to those who might not value them, my hope is that I'll get better at being content in His contentment, and steady in His approval, not looking for other's to give it a "like."



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