Whose Praise Do You Want?

by Guest blogger on March 18, 2011 · 12 comments

My sweet friend, Stephanie, from The Candid Pastor’s Wife (a break-the-mold wife to a pastor at a church plant in Austin, Texas, who loves to write about marriage, mission, and beauty outside of culture), has so graciously agreed to walk us through the Gospel of John on Fridays in the month of March, as we make our way from our celebration of Christ birth a few months ago to our celebration of His resurrection in just a few weeks.

Thank you, Stephanie!

Join along by reading through the Gospel of John between now and the end of March. :)

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I would say that generally I’m well-liked. I have this annoying need for people to like me. But when I don’t feel liked by someone, I get really stressed and analyze all of the things I might have done to turn that person off.

I want to blame it on my sensitive nature; I’m the person who will come up to you at a party and try to make you feel comfortable (because I know how it feels to be that person!). But is it really that?

News Flash to Stephanie: Nobody needs you to like them!

I think I need to feel needed more than they need to feel loved. I need to feel like I’ve played all of my personality cards right to get that friendship started off right. (And then – if all goes well? I pretty much stop working on the friendship right there – but that’s another story.)

Bottom line: I have bought into the idol of approval. I’m replacing the desire I should have for my relationship with God with the desire I have for my relationships with others.

Are you well-liked? Do you live that double-edged sword where you’re a leader and you’re well-liked? As a leader, have you ever felt yourself compromise your words, admonitions, or beliefs [just a smidge] for acceptance?

Maybe you’re like me, and you really don’t. Usually. But what if there were a little more pressure applied?

After the Sanhedrin – the council of Jewish leaders – decide that they must get rid of Jesus in order to save the Jewish people (and they were right, but not in the way they thought), we see Jesus telling his disciples that he is leaving soon, but that anyone who knows him and follows him, knows and follows the Father.

Although many Jews place their faith in Jesus,

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. (John 12:37, NIV)

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God. (John 12:42-43, NIV)

I have to ask myself if that’s me. Do I love the praise of man more than the praise of God? At times, I sure do act as though I do. But man’s praise is like any other addiction: it’s unfulfilling at best and detrimental at worst.

When I’m craving that praise of man, I think what I’m really craving is the once-for-all approval from God. The approval that truly satisfies, that doesn’t leave me thirsty, that heals my deepest wounds.

Will you reject the world’s parching beverage and instead drink from His living water with me today?

{ 12 comments }

Jennifer

I needed to hear that.

Stephanie, The Candid Pastor's Wife

I’m glad – me too!

Charity

Much to think about. Whose approval…

Eryn {mamahall}

“man’s praise is unfulfilling…detrimental…whose praise do i work for?” i am going to let this resonate in my spirit for a good long time. thank you stephanie & michelle.

Stephanie, The Candid Pastor's Wife

So glad it will stay with you. I pray it will stay with me!

Leslie

A long time ago I heard/read, “Live for the applause of heaven, not the applause of man.” This SO resonates with me! It grieves me to see so many women, sisters in Christ, not walking in power, love, and sound mind, but in fear, longing, and desire for the approval of others. It must grieve God greatly. Sisters, walk in confidence! You have been purchased and set free at a great price . . . too great to still be walking around in the shackles of the enemy. Listen for His approval and no one else’s, and be strong in His perfect acceptance of you. :) Great message, Stephanie.

Stephanie, The Candid Pastor's Wife

Thanks for sharing that, Leslie!

martha brady

thanks for this true word stephanie:) it took me a long time to learn that my desire to make everyone comfortable had a very strong connection to an idol…wanting to be loved and approved by others.
it is a constant battle on many fronts, but it has been helpful to learn to fear God and desire His approval more and try to please people (as my primary focus) less.

Sweet Tea with Cindy

That is SO Good! I, too have approval additcion. Thank you for reminding me of the only approval that matters – God’s. Great job and thanks for sharing :)

Cranberry Morning

C.S. Lewis, in his book ‘The Weight of Glory’ has a chapter called ‘The Inner Ring’ about this subject. It’s so hard, isn’t it, to loose the chains of ‘world approval’ to gain the FREEDOM that comes with needing only God’s approval.

Beth Hanson

Thank you for this valuable message. It’s a good one for me also, and i especially needed to be reminded of this at this time. Bless you!

aplaceforthoughts

Perfect timing for me to read this post. Thank you, Stephanie. And honestly, I read it yesterday morning but walked away when I started to choke back tears. Came back today to read it again and comment.

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