The Idol of Approval

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Lay Down the Idol Now—The Idol of Approval


"You think you are doing all the right things. At least, you want to believe that you are. Doing what is right feels important, like survival. Messing up feels like a burden too heavy to bear. So you run, continuing to work and prove. You have heard me tell you you are enough. You believe you hear me. And I do speak. I speak to your heart. 


But there is so much you don’t hear when you believe you are on your own. You forget Me. You believe it is you who has to be strong. When you mess up, you forget you are loved. You feel like something has been lost and you must work to earn it back. It is hard to bear another’s perceived disappointment, most of all your own. 


Your anticipation that you will disappoint someone drives your every action. So it is fear that drives you. You have made the approval of people your idol, and you feel you will break when a mistake means they think less of you or are angry with you. It is not often that you rest in Me, rest in my approval. What if you did? If you lived knowing nothing could touch you? That you could never do anything to be loved less than you are right now?


I know why this is so hard to believe: Only when you give up the idol of approval will you accept my love that never changes. You say you accept it, that you know it. But your caring so much about what people think of you prevents you from inheriting all that I have to give you: the sense of self of being a child of God.


You are dearly loved. You are fought for and chosen. You are cherished and desired. I love being with you. You are not alone, and you don’t have to be a slave to this phantom truth that love equals the avoidance of other people’s disappointment in you. 


You will disappoint people. And it is okay. You will make mistakes. And it is okay. You will not measure up in other people’s eyes. And that is okay. 


Throw them away now—these measuring sticks that deeply hurt you. The world might be your enemy, but what does it matter if I am for you? When you realize I am for you (and that can only happen when the idols are destroyed and laid at my feet) you will live under my protection; you will wear my armor of love and faith, hope and truth. 


I am faithful. I am true. I am Protector and Navigator and King and Father. Let me love you. Lay down the idol now—the idol of approval. I approve of you. I love you. I approve.”


How is your heart after receiving these words?