Approval Addictions and How to be Free of Them

 

freedom from chains

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Colossians 3:12

This past week was a trying one for me.  This week was not looking any better…until today.  Yesterday I was told by a loved one that I was not as loved as others in my family.  I had always suspected this, but never had this person ever come right out and said it.  You can imagine the hurt this brought to my heart.

Today when I awakened, Satan was right there to remind me of the horrid conversation  that took place the day before.  God warned me an attack was coming and to be prepared for it.  I did not remember that prophecy at the time, but today God reminded me of it.  He cautioned me not to fall into offense because if I did it would lead to destruction…my own.

I thank God for warning me in advance.  Thank God I was not blindsided by it.  As I thought about the prophecy today, and the attack that took place on me emotionally, I was grieved by it.  But God had something to say about it all.   He told me something that would set me free and something that will keep me free from the approval and disapproval of man!  Since a blog is a journal, I am writing it down in its purest form to always remind me.

God said, “If I (God) saw you the way you and the world see others, how would I think?  I could easily say that I have been with you all your life.  You were raised in church, but yet you still miss the mark daily and fail me. 

The things you could do for me and toward me you don’t.  You don’t praise me everyday as I have asked you to.  You don’t read the Bible as you know to do.  You make sure you know what time it is every Tuesday so you can be ready for your favorite television program and can sit in deep concentration for a full hour,  but many days I am fortunate to get thirty minutes.  Life is busy right?  How I would love to have the attention you give to everything and everyone else. 

I am not happy.  Your behavior has made me unhappy, and my happiness is contingent on the way you treat Me and what you do for Me.  If you had given Me the attention I have so craved, if you had met all of MY needs, if you would bother to try to understand Me, then My life would be happy.  Your approval is necessary to my happiness and if you don’t give it,  I won’t have it. I have forgiven you time and again, yet you still miss the mark and don’t do enough to keep me happy and satisfied. 

I can no longer take your behavior.  I have decided My life would be better off without you.  I am not going to be around anymore.  You have become unhealthy for me.  I don’t want to see you, hear from you, or see anything that even reminds Me of you.  I have given you grace before and mercy, but you have used it up.  My life would be better without you since you don’t fulfill me or bring the happiness I require. 

I am not going to allow you into heaven because then I would have to see you all the time, and I just can’t deal with that.  You will have to go to hell so I can be happy without any reminders of you and all the ways you hurt Me over the years.  I wish you the best, but I have to love you from a distance, so don’t call Me and I won’t be bothering you.

Harsh words, but true thoughts.  How many times have I treated those who have hurt and wounded me this way?  Oh I didn’t realize it at the time, but today God showed me the receiving end of this stick.  When He did He reminded me of the debtor who owed millions of dollars to his master who he was indebted to (Matthew 18:23-35).   He knew he would be thrown in a debtor’s prison never to see his family again and begged for mercy and forgiveness.  It was given and his debt was wiped out, just as Jesus’s blood wiped our debts out when we came to Him for mercy and forgiveness.

Not long after the man was freed from the bondage of that debt he saw someone who owed him.  This man owed him very little, yet he grabbed him by the throat and demanded payment in full and threatened his life if it wasn’t paid in full (this is the way we are when we walk in the our way instead of God’s supernatural way). 

When the master who was owed the millions heard of this he was furious and called for the man who had been forgiven of his great debt to be brought to him.  Because of his behavior and lack of mercy and grace toward the one who owed so little the master, who forgave much, withdrew that forgiveness and enforced the original sentence to life in a debtor’s prison…what the man had actually deserved.  Thank God for grace which absolves us of guilt and all we deserve.

When we deal with people by holding their feet to the flames, so to speak, we have positioned ourselves for dire consequences as well.  That path leads only to destruction…not the destruction of the person who did us wrong, but destruction to ourselves.  I am responsible for my happiness.  That power does not rest on you, but on what I choose to feel and think.  As I thought about what God was showing me, I cried out to Him for forgiveness.  I had no idea my thoughts and actions had become so ungracious toward others.  Were the ones who hurt me wrong?  Yes, but so was I.  The irony was I was hurting myself worse than anything anyone else had done because I was moving myself away from God’s will for my life, which carries great promise and great reward.

I remember when Jesse Ventura said Christianity was for wimps.  Show me where doing supernatural things in the natural is even possible, much less ‘wimpy’ or easy.  The Christian walk cannot be done without God, it is such a difficult one.  You have to have God’s super on your natural to forgive the unforgivable, to give grace and mercy when maximum punishment is rightfully due.  To pray for those who use you and persecute you to be blessed is impossible to mean if not for God giving us a supernatural ability to do it…yet, it can be done! 

Now when I look at others, I will ask myself if God were to see me and think toward me the way I am thinking and feeling toward that person, how would I feel. Would it be what I would want done to me? So simple…how did I miss it for so long? 

I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders when I came to this realization today.  I don’t have to be concerned with what anyone is thinking or saying about me.  I don’t have to worry if I am loved as much or less than someone else.  My present and future does not rely on anyone’s approval but God’s.  I have His approval and He is the last say on where I spend eternity.  Whether people think I deserve it or not, I will be blessed if I stay in love.  The only one who can stop His blessing is ME!!!  I don’t have to worry where my needs are going to come from and that includes my most basic needs which is love, for God is my Source!  He will open doors people cannot open and He will do it in the face of my enemies…HE sets a table before me in their presence (Psalm 23). 

Far too long I have worried about the approval of people.  I have sought to find my worth in it.  I have mourned and have allowed myself to feel less than when I was found lacking by one or by many.  How frustrating to seek what is impossible to ever have.  No one can make me happy or that my life is of infinite value except God and me

I have to choose to put on the robe of righteousness (His way of being and doing).  I have to choose to put God first, and that means what He thinks above all others.  I have to choose to let my good character speak for itself, and if I am judged or misjudged it is on God’s shoulders to make it right and He will.  But if there are critics that refuse to see what God sees, and their minds never change I still win because I am exactly as I should be in my Father’s eyes and He will cause everything to work out for my good.  You see it is a win/win, no lose situation.  When you truly realize that, you are free to love, free to forgive, you are free indeed! 

Men die for freedom.  Jesus died for mine and yours.  That is how important freedom is.  It removes fear of people, fear of society and its dictates, and fear of never being all I want to be and should be, the fear of disapproval. 

Fear is a heavy weight.  It stops you and hinders you from joy, happiness and contentment.  It hinders you from leading life to the fullest and stepping out in faith because fear produces the opposite effects of faith which is rooted in God’s way of loving and brings courage. 

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  God never intended for me to walk in the wounds of rejection, nor the need for approval of anyone other than Him.  Thank God He set me free to love not just the loveable, but the unlovable…just like me.

 

 

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Verse of the Day…Mercy and Grace

verse of the day hebrews 4

 Hebrews 4:15-16

New Century Version (NCV)

15 For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. 16 Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.

Psalm 15…A Description of the Godly

psalm 15

Psalm 15

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 15

A Description of the Godly

A Davidic psalm.

1 Lord, who can dwell in Your tent? Who can live on Your holy mountain?

2 The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart— 3 who does not slander with his tongue, who does not harm his friend or discredit his neighbor, 4 who despises the one rejected by the Lord[a] but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his word whatever the cost, 5 who does not lend his money at interest or take a bribe against the innocent— the one who does these things will never be moved.

Psalm 14…A Portrait of Sinners

psalm 14

Psalm 14

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 14

A Portrait of Sinners

For the choir director. Davidic.

1 The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.” They are corrupt; they do vile deeds. There is no one who does good. 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God. 3 All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt. There is no one who does good, not even one.[a]

4 Will evildoers never understand? They consume My people as they consume bread; they do not call on the Lord.

5 Then[b] they will be filled with terror, for God is with those who are[c] righteous. 6 You sinners frustrate the plans of the afflicted, but the Lord is his refuge.

7 Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come from Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people,[d] Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.[e]

Psalm 13…A Plea For Deliverance

psalm 13

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 13

A Plea for Deliverance

For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.

1 Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 2 How long will I store up anxious concerns[a] within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?

3 Consider me and answer, Lord my God. Restore brightness to my eyes; otherwise, I will sleep in death. 4 My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,” and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance. 6 I will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously.

Psalm 12…You, Lord, Will Guard Us

psalm 12

Psalm 12

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 12

Oppression by the Wicked

For the choir director: according to Sheminith. A Davidic psalm.

 1 Help, Lord, for no faithful one remains; the loyal have disappeared from the human race. 2 They lie to one another; they speak with flattering lips and deceptive hearts. 3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and the tongue that speaks boastfully. 4 They say, “Through our tongues we have power;[a] our lips are our own—who can be our master?”

5 “Because of the oppression of the afflicted and the groaning of the poor, I will now rise up,” says the Lord. “I will put the one who longs for it in a safe place.”

6 The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times.

7 You, Lord, will guard us;[b] You will protect us[c] from this generation forever. 8 The wicked wander[d] everywhere, and what is worthless is exalted by the human race.