When our happiness in life is tied to the approval of others, we are trapped but may not know it. Approval is an attempt by the flesh to fill up our God-given need for worth. Worth is not the same as trying to be worthy of salvation by our good spiritual or moral performance. Genuine worth is the confidence that we are valuable. Our problem is that we may not know or remember that this need is already met in Christ. In context of our relationship with God or other people, we may find ourselves trapped by any of these lies:
- I feel invisible.
- I want to be special.
- I don’t feel like I’m enough.
- I have low/high self-esteem.
- I am not as attractive as others.
- I don’t feel like I matter.
- I am superior.
- I am inferior.
- I am unlovable.
- I must do things perfectly.
When we are operating from any of these lies or similar ones, we crave the prove that we have intrinsic worth. We may also seek self-approval based on our successes or failures.
In the spiritual realm, legalism promotes performance-based approval. The times the legalist believes they perform well for God, they may feel more special to Him and visa-versa. That same person will also feel superior or inferior to other Christians.
The great news is that God has already met our need for worth forever. Our cup runs over all of the time with the worth we have in Christ. How do we know this?
In Matthew 13:44-46, Jesus tells two parables that speak directly to this. A parable is an earthy story that explains God’s kingdom perspective.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
In the first parable, a man finds a treasure buried in a field. He has such joy that he sells all he possesses so he can have this treasure by buying the field. No one else knew this valuable treasure was there. You may feel like a few people, if any, know you are there or value you. Jesus does.
In the second parable, a man finds a very valuable pearl. Similar to the first story, this man sells all he has so he can buy this pearl. In this case, no one had enough money to purchase this valuable pearl. In other words, no amount of approval by others will fill up your “worth” tank. Jesus does.
In both of these parables, the man is Jesus Christ. The treasure and the pearl represent you. Jesus gave all He had, which was His life, so He could have you! That is how valuable you are to God.
As a child of God, bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, God is saying, “I see you. You are so valuable to me, I gave the most valuable possession I had, My Son, to have you in my family. You can stop trying to fill your tank with the approval of others because your tank is full of the value I bestowed on you. ”
Why don’t you pray something like this? “God because You have proven I am valuable to You, I agree with You that I am valuable in Christ.”
Live Free in Christ!
Mark Maulding, President and Founder
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