For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1: 10

 

It is totally fine to feel good about what we do during the day; in fact, attempting to do everything in the best manner possible is a concept that comes from God. When we are engaged in following the direction that the Lord has set for us, we should have a sense of accomplishment and of achievement in what we are doing. However, there is an important caution that I need to stay aware of while going through my day. So the question is, “Who am I truly serving; thus, whose approval do I seek?”

 

Paul’s words pose a very interesting and an important question; since, where we look for approval and for validation is where our hearts tend to be oriented. Unfortunately, I do find that it can be awfully easy to lose clarity and to shift my focus when it comes to knowing that what I am doing is effective. My desire is to live for Christ, to share the love that He gives to me with others, and to communicate God’s truth to the people around me; yet, I admit that having people tell me that something was helpful is very satisfying and that receiving a negative response can be troubling. That is all fine, and it is a part of being open and public in my faith. However, when I start to change what I think that I should say or do and when I consider the potential for controversy or disagreement before I act on what seems Godly and righteous, then I am seeking the approval of people. When that is true, Paul is very direct; he says that in those times I am not serving Christ.

 

Since this sort of thing does happen, I am truly thankful for God’s gracious attitude and for His unending willingness to redirect me. There is amazing freedom in following Paul’s example, for people are difficult to please and the things that gain our approval are very hard to define. They change continually. On the other hand, God is consistent and unchanging, and He communicates His wishes and desires in ways that are understandable. Christ wants me to speak His truth, He wants me to love fearlessly, and He tells me to share the source of my strength with others. If I keep looking to God for my approval and talking with Him about my challenges and successes, serving Christ with every moment of my day can be my reality.