Identity

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Day 4: I am to please God rather than seek the approval of people.


Prayer: Heavenly Father, Remind me throughout the day that my value comes from you. Amen.


Reading: 


As followers of Jesus, we’re called to serve. If we see a need and we’re able to help, we should jump in and do what we can. And, honestly, it feels good to feel needed. Knowing that we are capable of making a difference in someone’s life can help fuel our sense of purpose.


But like anything, if the motives behind even the most noble of actions get off-track, then we will find ourselves in an unhealthy place. If you’ve received any sort of appreciation for serving, you know it can be tempting to dwell on accolades and quickly forget the reason you started serving in the first place.


Whatever the reason, when we find ourselves longing for approval, we become vulnerable to buying into a very common false belief: I must please others to have value. When we start believing that lie, we set ourselves up for some problems:



  • We neglect taking care of ourselves, since our main fuel comes from the approval we get from other people. 

  • We hide our imperfections. 

  • We don’t tell the full truth if we’ve done a poor job.


We need to remember that we are already immensely valuable! We were created in God’s image and we are the only person like us who’s ever existed or ever will exist. God fully accepts us and values us.


Putting all our energy toward pleasing others is futile. In this life, some people will adore us… and some people won’t. And while we can enjoy the occasional praise and also get our feelings hurt because of someone’s opinion of us, other people’s approval should not be the ultimate motivation for our actions.


I am to please God rather than seek the approval of people. Even the apostle Paul reflected on this as he wrestled with how other people viewed him.


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. (Galatians 1:10)


While our actions may lead to people being served or pleased, our motivation should be to serve the one who first served us by giving his Son for us.


Reflection:


What would it look like for me to serve others but not depend on their appreciation or approval to find my worth?