It feels good to feel good. The feelings that come when someone recognizes and rewards you are fantastic motivation. It is so strong that I find myself shaping my life and behaviors around its realization. It is as if life itself is defined by its reality.
I am not alone. Seeking approval, gaining a sense of belonging, and knowing that someone important in your life recognizes what you are doing is a primary driver for many. Boys of all ages seek the approval of girls and women in their lives. Extreme dedication, the pursuit of the impossible, and unending sacrifice are often driven by the desire and need for approval. The need pervades every aspect of life, including our relationship with Divinity.
God commented on this; “They're busy, busy, busy at worship, and love studying all about me. To all appearances they're a nation of right-living people—law-abiding, God-honoring.
They ask me, ‘What's the right thing to do?’ and love having me on their side. But they also complain, ‘Why do we fast and you don't look our way? Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?’
Well, here's why: the bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit. You drive your employees much too hard.” (Isaiah 58.2, 3)
We need the drug of approval. We thirst for the feelings that come with being seen and recognized. Life itself has value when we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
As fantastic as this feeling is, there is something even better. We can live, walk, and simply be knowing we are part of something bigger than ourselves, we are accepted just as we are, and we are priceless children of God. We were approved before we were born. The question of the day is this; why do we do what we do? There can and is more than simply approval. We have the freedom and ability to choose grace, mercy, and compassion. If you think approval feels good, I suggest the experience of giving these away to others. Nothing in life is greater.
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