As an older dog, I’m grateful that I can still learn new tricks. I am fearless with technology. I tackle new academic challenges with joy. OK, I take exception to counting backwards from 100 by 7’s. I’ve had to perform that nasty subtraction task multiple times since a period of amnesia, so now I’ve memorized the responses. Whew! Some new tricks remain tantalizingly out of reach, like juggling. I can juggle scarves like nobody’s business, but oranges? Splat! I do feel confident that if I practiced, I could master oranges AND apples.
But what about the Approval of Others “trick?” My fruitless efforts began at day one in my savage home. I grew up without approval and love, no matter how clever, obedient, and slavish I was. Sadly, I continued my desperate hunt for approval long after leaving home. My search even led me to fly in the face of approval, spitting on social mores. Although I’ve been transformed in many ways since being saved in 1988, I continue to battle a need for acceptance of others. This Bible verse was easily memorized but impossible to live by: “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but by trusting in the Lord, one is kept safe.”
Living on the approval of others is an empty and dangerous path for me, leading to lies, heartache, and fear. It saps the joy out of serving others. It drains the satisfaction out of accomplishments, for the approval of others is counterfeit- pyrite instead of true gold. Living for the kudos of people is a vain exercise in every sense of the word.
What’s the solution? Where’s the hope? Trust. Trust in the Lord, unattainable by my own efforts. The incredible news is that God is helping me to trust him. Step by step, moment by moment. My current frustration with fear of man (a King James phrase, if there ever was one) is a clear sign of how God is moving me towards freedom. He is teaching me to trust him ever deeper. He hasn’t clubbed me on the head or made me a pariah. No, he loves up on me.
Feel free to “like” this post. Or not. I won’t live or die by that. Mostly.