I believe a lot of people in the world struggle with the need of approval. It's understandable when you look at what culture teaches us. Culture teaches us to sacrifice anything to be able to reach the "top". This so-called "top" is a fantasy where we are now in the spotlight and loved by one and all. If you are striving to be loved by one and all, that is an impossible journey. Not even the most famous icon has the support of everyone. It just doesn't exist.
Leaders are always struggling with this fantasy and the way they respond to it will shape their impact and influence. What leader doesn't want to have some sense of approval from those around them? It is a natural desire! However, if it cripples your confidence, decision making or character, you have started down a very unsatisfying journey.
Paul talks about this idea of approval in Galatians chapter one. Paul is kind of ripping into the Galatians in this letter. He is very upset because it seems that they have been teaching a false Gospel. He is calling them out and rebuking their actions. Obviously, his tough words are not going to be the most popular with the Galatians... so this is how Paul follows up verse 10:
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.
Paul says something so bold and calls out every person that calls themselves a follower of Christ. He brings to light the motives of people that struggle with this need of approval.
So here is the question you need to ask yourself today... are you trying to win the approval of man or God? What are your motives for the decisions that you are making in life? If you are more concerned about what people will think about you, that it stops you from doing what God wants you to do, then you have lost what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Is it worth it?
Is the temporary satisfaction of man worth losing the eternal reward of our Father in heaven?
Is a momentary pat on the back worth sacrificing the words, "well done my good and faithful servant"?
Once you are so confident in who God is and what he means in your life, you will not stress so much about what the world thinks around you. Life becomes a lot easier when you accept the fact that you aren't strong enough, good enough or skilled enough and instead hold tight to the truth that you are loved by your Creator.
The craziest thing is that we spend our lives fighting for temporary approval of men when we have already been accepted just as we are by the only thing that will matter for eternity.
So stop fighting for the need of approval! Stop stressing about how people see you! Start reveling in the love of your Father and confidently acknowledging your weakness that is made perfect in Christ!