Whose Approval Do We Seek?

by SomeGirl on November 7, 2011

Yesterday I spoke to a group of Sunday school teachers on the importance of their ministry.

I’ve done things like that before at my own church as a staff member, but never for a group I wasn’t associated with.

When you’re with a group that knows you there’s little concern for what they think about you. They know you. They know your quirks and your passions (and how much you like to talk about your passions).

But with a new group it’s different.

I knew I was going to speak for some time before the actual date.

I thought off and on about what to say, what God might want them to hear.

And then, the day before my time with them, I fervently asked God, “What do you want me to say? What do You want them to do [with and for the children they minister to]?”

Immediately a God-whispered thought came into my mind… “Love them. Love them with all your heart.”

Thanking God for His answer, I drove on toward my destination, but an urge to stop and write down what I had heard pulled me off to a closed warehouse parking lot…

“Love them. Love them with all your heart. Love them as you’d love your own.”

The words kept coming…

“Reach out to their families and come alongside them. See them as more than a Sunday morning responsibility. See them as sheep you are to shepherd.”

On and on the words came to my head and my hand wrote each one down.

Two and a half pages later the  thoughts stopped and my message was done.

I knew God had given me the words He wanted spoken.

So, I thanked him and added an object lesson as well as some personal stories that seemed appropriate for the topic.

Yesterday I shared what God had pressed upon my thoughts. I shared in faith knowing I had asked God for the words and He had given them to me.

Then I came home and worried…

Did I share what was expected?

Did I overstep my bounds?

Did I offend anyone?

Did I please the people in charge? The teachers in the room?

As Ann Voskamp expressed in her speech at Relevant, did I disappoint?

It burned a hole in my thoughts all day and night long… I worried over one particular line. One statement that might have made people feel bad.

The desire to please man was strong in my heart… but what about the desire to please God?

I had asked Him what He wanted said. I had been obedient to say it.

His message to love the little children and GO and make disciples was spoken – in humor, in love, in passion.

So, today I confess to you that I struggle deeply with the need for approval. And if you’re with me, I pray we would seek our approval solely from God.

Are we obedient to Him? Are we doing what He has asked us to do? Are we sensitive to His Spirit, to His voice? Are we proclaiming His truths in love?

If we are, then I pray that we would rest in His approval and stop seeking the approval of man.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

 

I’m sure you’ll understand if I turn comments off on this post, right? I just wanted to air out my thoughts and let those of you who struggle with the same thing know you’re not alone. I’ll be praying for you. But, I want to guard my heart from wondering, “Do they approve of what I just wrote??”

Love you guys!

♥ Michelle (aka SomeGirl)

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