Athlete, Approve This Win
Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
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.
Approval is a powerful force in life. It pervades every corner of our thought life and dominates the competition to define our identity. It encourages, energizes, empowers.
Its winds blow strong and river cuts deep. It fills us up and moves us on. Without it we sail on rudderless more than we think.
Indeed, having the approval of another matters a lot. In fact, it’s so vital that we will risk almost anything to get it and keep it.
We will pledge for a Greek group, join a gang or club, subject ourselves to hazing, prematurely sacrifice our virginity, daredevil our way through an unlimited number of crazy stunts, or just keep every rule to validate ourselves before certain others. We even commit crimes to gain attention.
What matters most is WHOSE approval. God says that chasing human approval means only temporary pleasure and fading wins at best. It’s based on an unstable foundation and fickle feelings.
It can never satisfy for long. The applause will always stop way too soon … even if we win championship upon championship.
Seeking God’s approval is the opposite. This is the wise move to make and win to chase. Living by His approval helps us live secure and operate free from the opinions of others.
It emancipates and completes us, not divides or dilutes us. It helps us live responsibly by being reminded of His purposes and our accountability for what He’s given us. Life wins are certainly possible, even eternally promised.
And His gaze and heaven’s applause will never stop.
A holy-merciful Father God provided our acceptance before Him through His Son’s perfect, atoning work. Thus, Jesus signals our approval before God. Believing this secures the win we all hope for.
So let’s live in the reality of His approval and seek no other audience.
One more thing, Scripture says at the end of Galatians 1:10 that seeking both man’s approval and God‘s approval will not work. Far too often we try. But the LORD says we cannot serve two approval masters (Matthew 6:24).
The apostle Paul settled the approval thirst in his life. He only wanted God’s nod. Pleasing man, including himself, became no real option.
“Servant of Christ” became his sole identity and powerful freedom. His satisfaction flowed from his service to God and others. For Paul, the good gaze of God was all that mattered.
Reflect: Whose approval matters most to you? Is there an unhealthy audience craving in you that needs to be eliminated, deleted, destroyed? What move can you make today to fix that?
A prayer to consider: LORD and Master, I want Your gaze above all. Your approval matters most. Audience of One™! Thank You for establishing my approval in Christ. Where would I be without Him?!
Don’t let me chase the wins that the approval of man offers. They are deceptively cheap and all too fading. Satisfy me with the fullness of who You are.
Keep reminding me by Your Spirit that I am made in Your image so I must have great value no matter how sinful and fallen short I am. And sober me to my mission of bringing You glory by what I do with what I’ve been given. I so want your “Well done!“ approval in the end. Amen.