Many people today live a life of desperation—desperate to fit in, desperate to be accepted, and desperate to be approved of by others. They become addicted to approval. If you or someone you know has been addicted to approval, you are aware that it is a miserable way to live. You never
know when someone is going to approve or disapprove of you, and just when you think you have figured out what they want, they change their mind.
How can you tell if you may be addicted to approval? Stop and ask yourself a couple of simple questions: “What do I run to and what do I look for when I feel insecure?” “What is on my mind most of the time?” When a person is addicted to something, it is on their mind most of the time. The greater the addiction, the more that thing consumes their thoughts. Therefore, if someone is addicted to approval, he or she will have an abnormal concern and an excessive number of thoughts about what people think of them.
Whatever we are addicted to we are controlled by, and as a result, our addiction affects and influences many other areas of our lives. Approval addiction not only affects our personal relationships, but also our prayer life, how we spend our time, and ultimately whether or not we fulfill our destiny. It will certainly steal our peace, joy and contentment.
I believe insecurity is one of the greatest causes for approval addiction. People who are insecure want and need the approval of others so much that they will do just about anything to get it. A sense of security is something everybody needs and wants. Security enables us to enjoy healthy
thinking and living, allowing us to feel safe, accepted and approved of. When we are secure, we approve of ourselves, we have confidence, and we accept and love ourselves in a healthy, balanced way. When we are insecure, we disapprove of ourselves, we lack confidence, and we tend to reject ourselves Relationships are a very valuable part of our lives, and God desires for us to have healthy, enjoyable ones. I believe the way we begin a relationship is vital to its health. What you and I allow in our relationships in the beginning should be what we will be happy with permanently. That’s
wisdom—choosing now what we will be happy with later on. Let people know by your actions that even though you would like their approval, you can live without it if you need to. Give others respect, and let them know that you expect them to show you respect.
Any relationship where one person is in control while the other struggles to gain approval is not healthy. We should not buy friends by letting them control us. If we do, whatever we did to get them we will have to continue doing. You and I should never sin against our own consciences, doing something that we know and feel in our hearts is wrong, in order to have someone’s approval. This is not right, and it is not God’s will.
I challenge you to trust God to bring you friends. Sometimes we want to be in relationship with a person who looks good on the outside, but then the relationship turns out to be a nightmare. On the other hand, someone may not be appealing on the surface, but as you get to know them, they may
become the best friend you ever had. So instead of working yourself silly trying to build relationships with the people you think would make a good friend, give your relationships to God. Ask Him to give you “divine connections.” He may surprise you by connecting you with people you would have never chosen to be in relationship with but feel closer to you than your own family.
Don’t seek to be a people pleaser…don’t compromise what you know is right in your heart to gain the approval of others. The only approval you need is the Father’s, and you already have that. As you make it your aim to please God, any addiction to approval will break under the power of His love...it’s only a matter of time
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