Freedom again

Needing approval from others is a muck filled bondage-swamp in my life that sucks at my every step. It’s an exhausting death march. 

Needing approval motivates me to serve others. Sometimes I do things for people because I know if I don’t they’ll be disappointed in me. Sometimes there is nothing worse than feeling another’s stinging disapproval.

Needing approval makes me work hard. I work hard preparing sermons and hope to hear, “good sermon.”  Last Sunday, I was caught at a point where everyone leaving had to walk in front of me. Unintentionally, I entered the glorification of the worm ceremony that occurs when pastors stand at the exit shaking hands. The worm-ceremony began as people leaving made positive comments about the sermon. Sure it felt good. But more than that, it felt awkward. That’s the trouble with needing approval. I’m always skeptical about the sincerity of those who give it, yet I work hard to gain it. In the end, it’s a spiral of unsatisfying bondage that continually collapses inwardly like a black hole.

Need for approval makes me push people. Yes it’s strange but true. Here’s why. If I push what you think and you still land on my side, then I have gained “true” approval. Weird isn’t it? 

Gaining approval can drive all I do.

Bondage to approval concentrates the focus of life on me and creates bondage to needing more approval.

Needing approval from others doesn’t always dominate me, sometimes approval rules. Sometimes I serve, work hard, and push people’s beliefs from the position of security. It’s a much better option where mire gives way to rock. I’m not talking about self-confidence. I’m talking about grace-confidence. Sometimes I do what I do because I DON’T have to, because I DON’T need to. Those moments are freedom.

Doubting grace births bondage – believing in grace births freedom.

Grace Freak
Dan Rockwell

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