We are continuing our Foundations series, where we examine how our foundation of faith impacts the details of our living. If this devotional has had an impact on you, we would love for you to share it with your friends.
Are You an Approval Addict?
Cursed is the one who trusts in human strength and the abilities of mere mortals. His very heart strays from the Eternal. Jeremiah 17:5
The opinions of others matter to us. As harmless at it seems, many are held captive by what others think of them. When we think of addictions, we often think of struggles with substance abuse, gambling, or eating disorders. However, one common addiction we often don’t see is the secret addiction to the approval of people.
Jeremiah speaks to Judah telling them they are in a desperate condition. They had been drawn away from the Lord, and soughtapproval and acceptance elsewhere, they had placed their trust in idols and it resulted in their captivity. The desire for the approval of others cheats people, leads to their own ruin.
Many don’t want to hear the truth about themselves, they prefer to just be accepted. Here are a few signs that you have the disease to please:
- You live to impress others and you adjust your appearance, your personality and your values based on the people around you.
- You are extremely sensitive to criticism.
- You describe yourself as a “people pleaser.”
- You get preoccupied with how many “likes” you get on social media.
- You get a high from a compliment, if you don’t get it you feel empty.
When other people’s approval becomes our source of joy and security, it will affect our lives, our relationships, and we will eventually stray from our relationship with God.
When you depend on the approval, attention and admiration of other people, you have no room in your heart for God. Leaning on fickle human opinions and emotions is unpredictable and it never lasts. You will be left wondering where you stand with people, insecure and afraid.
We stand in need of grace. Honesty before God keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that, regardless of another’s approval, we are saved sinners. We never have to wear a false face, or pretend to be anything other than who we are. To live like that, it’s virtually impossible to be drawn away by the opinions of others.
Lord, help me to not be addicted to people-approval, but only to trying to look to You, and listen to You and serve You.