What I Write About

I write about the infinite number of intersections between every day life and the good news of the God who has come to get us.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good News for People-Pleasing Approval-Seekers

Hi, I'm Alex, and I'm a people-pleaser.

Hi, Alex!

One of the ways that my people-pleasing has worked out in the past is the need for regular approval and applause. If people are affirming me, I'm doing alright. If I'm not getting any love, I gotta' find a way to angle for some applause. I'm way healthier in this than I used to be, but those patterns still occasionally eek out of my soul.

Then I come to a passage like the one I hit the other day--it talks about the purpose of trials are to prove our faith to be genuine so that (get this) it might result in "praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:7).

So here's the bad news and the good news for applause-seekers like me. The bad news is that seeking applause is toxic. People-pleasing is death, and if we allow it to go un-checked, it will destroy us.

But there is a kernel of God-stuff in there: you were made to please Someone. There's a good Father who actually delights to be pleased with his children. Some of you have dads who were never pleased with you. Good news: God is not like that.

God delights to celebrate you. In the end your Father will take great joy in looking back over your life with you, looking intently for every smallest inkling of a step of faith and obedience that you ever took. And you and He will delight in it together. It will result in praise and glory and honor for you.

God cannot wait to delight in and over you; he does so already. When Christ is finally revealed he will do so once and for all. That’s good news for us people-pleasers who can become addicted to applause and approval—a call to repent from our addiction to people’s approval and look for and trust in the Father’s approval.

If only there was a 12-step program to help me to get there.

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