Words in Red: John 5:34-35 -Freedom from the approval trap

John 5:34-35: Not that I accept human testimony…John was a lamp that burned and gave you light and you chose for a time to enjoy the light.” (Italics mine)

Lord Jesus, help me not to live for human applause, acceptance or affirmation.  Help me to root my feelings of acceptance and affirmation in You.  But to do that, I realize that I need to hear you clearly as You affirm me in love.

If I can hear the God Who is over all creation telling me that He loves me and is pleased with me, I know my heart will be steady and satiated.

Lord God, open my ears to hear You speak! People are fickle and not always reliable in their assessments of things.  But You know me inside and out.  You are completely aware of me. So if You accept me, love me and declare good things over me, I can rest and be centered on something immovable rather than on the ebb and flow of human approval.

Lord Jesus, You alone have the words of life.  Let Your words set me free from the addiction of being a people-pleaser.

I make this declaration over my life:

“I do not accept, center my life around or pursue human testimony, affirmation, accolades or agreement.  I am led by the Spirit of God and I do what I see my Father doing.  I have great faith because I imitate Jesus and am not intimidated or hemmed in by people’s opinions.”

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My place to read, pray, journal and write. Do you have one?

Now you:

  • Do you find yourself pulled in different directions by people’s opinions about what you should do, or how you should live your life?
  • Do you strive to make everyone like you? Do you get a ‘high’ when people praise you and are you devastated when people criticize or gossip about you?
  • Do you measure your success based upon how much positive feedback you get from other people?

In the Scripture above, Jesus pointed out to the people He was speaking to that “for a time” they really liked John the Baptist.  Jesus knew that people are fickle and will often change their opinions based on what is popular at the moment.  Walking with God is seldom popular.  If we are to truly live our lives the way God called us to live, we will find ourselves swimming upstream, against the flow of popular opinion and often in opposition to the approval of those whose opinions we really care about.

How can we live above the need for approval, applause and affirmation? Simple: Get it from Jesus.  You have to have a relationship with Jesus to be able to hear his words of love and affirmation resonate in your heart.   But once you do hear those words, you are free.  No one can touch you in this area again.  I’m not saying it won’t hurt, that you won’t feel the twinge of pain as people pull their applause away, but I am saying that you will rise up stronger and more confident with each passing episode.  It’s glorious to be “becoming” totally free from the slavery of public opinion!

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