We are wired for relationships. Our fellowship with others is crucial to our emotional and spiritual health. Perhaps the fact that we don’t function well outside of relationships with others is what makes the subject of today so tricky.
You see, there’s nothing wrong with receiving the approval of people you care about. In fact, it’s hoped and expected that you will have at least some form of approval from them. It’s also expected that some people will reject us, as it is impossible to make everyone happy. Approval and rejection in and of themselves are not the problem. The problem lies when they are given control in our lives. Being overly attached to the approval or rejection of others brings destruction and opens the door for a thief.
Surely this topic of approval and rejection is a tender one for our Lord. You see, Scripture tells us that Jesus was “despised and rejected by men...He was despised, and we esteemed Him not” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus knows what it is like to be rejected. To have others disapprove of Him. Remember, Jesus was, and continues to be, rejected by those He gave His life to save.
In case you aren’t aware of just how safe this relationship is, let me share with you how your Creator feels about you. For those who acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord, He refers to you as His “handiwork” (Ephesians 2:10). He says you are adopted, “chosen,” and “included in Christ” (Ephesians 1:5, 11, 13). Look to Zephaniah 3:17 for a refreshing image of God’s tenderness toward you, as His child: “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” What an incredible image. He rejoices over you in song. As we come to the end of today, I encourage you to rejoice in your Father’s approval of you. His love for you that will never cease!
From which particular people in your life do you most feel you need approval? What is your emotional reaction when you receive this approval? When you don’t receive this approval? God speaks often through His Word about His tender love for you as well as His promise never to abandon you. What is your reaction to these words?