Monday, August 24, 2009
Last Friday morning the St. Louis County inspector checked out our porch construction and gave us the okay to continue. He inspected the framing and joist work we'd done and proclaimed, "It looks good." I'm not sure which part meant the most to me - the okay to proceed or the affirmation of having done a good job.
We come into this world seeking the affirmation of others, and we never seem to stop seeking it the rest of our life. When you are a "people pleaser," like everyone in our family tends to be, it doesn't matter how confident and secure you seem to be, you still want to know that others agree, appreciate, and approve of what you do. It's important, because we thrive on encouragement and assent. It's disheartening to know that someone disapproves or disagrees with us, and, in spite of all the unconcerned talk, it eats at our heart and causes lots of unseen anxiety. It's nice to be liked.
When do we reach the point where receiving God's approval is more important than the approval of others? I'm not just talking about doing what's right versus doing what's wrong. I'm talking about the joy of knowing He loves us, forgives us, and is pleased with our hearts that are seeking Him. Do we truly care about pleasing Him? Is it okay to do something good, when no one is around and no one will see it, just because it pleases God? Maybe if His approval - His affirmation - were more important to us, it wouldn't be so important to receive it from others. Maybe we really could feel confident and secure and get our self esteem from Him and not people who can't possibly know what is really going on in our heart. After all, if our direction is right (i.e. walking in the light), in spite of our mistakes and stumbling around, He's going to be saying to us, "Well done." It's simple, but more important than anything anyone else could ever say to us.
Can you see our Father giving you a thumbs up?