“Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.”
“…they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.” Whose approval do you desire? Whose approval matters to you? Whose approval (or disapproval) influences your actions?
The book we read on our two Europe trips was “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” by John Ortberg. His chapter 9 is entitled “A Life of Freedom: The Practice of Secrecy.” He talks about “approval addiction”. People who have this live in bondage to what others think of them.
He lists some symptoms:
- Do you get hurt by what others say about you?
- Do you habitually compare yourself with others?
- Are you competitive in ordinary situations?
- Are you envious of someone else’s success?
How can we live free of bondage to critics and other people’s opinions of us?
As Ortberg wisely says, “other people’s opinions of us are powerless until we validate them.” The solution to approval addiction? The practice of secrecy! Do your good deeds so no one sees but God. It’s His approval that matters.