Confessions from My Approval Addiction: I’m Calling Bluff

I confessed to you this weekend that I’m addicted to approval.

Your approval.  But the funny thing is, as I elevate you into a status of “approval giver”, I fall for a slew of lies that cripple my heart.  Lies that paralyze me from the very things I seek.

These lies tell me that you are the one who will help me find a sense of significance.  They promise I’ll find the confidence I crave when you affirm me, accept me and approve of me.  They promise that your acceptance of me will fulfill my need for belonging.  They tell me if I don’t conform to your expectations of me, I’ll be alone.  These lies make me believe the peace I seek rests in your hands.

But none of that has proven true.  

The fear of man

The truth is, seeking approval from people will always leave me wanting … disappointed … empty … ensnared.   It leaves me reeling from day to day- never giving me a place to firmly stand.  Never providing the peace it promises.  And worst of all, seeking the approval of others above God keeps me stuck on myself, unable to love the people around me.

I can tell that I’m grasping for your approval when…

I find myself questioning the things I do and say with a wave of anxiety attached to each thought.  When I try to alter myself to fit into the boxes of your expectation.  When I speak, or stay silent with the goal of gaining your approval.  (But as an approval addict, I’d never let you know these things.  I simply act cool, and laugh on cue, and look the other way when I should stand firm.

The fear of man is a snare, but whoever TRUSTS in the LORD will be safe.

Proverbs 29:25

I know what it is to live for the approval of others.  I’ve tried it found it wanting in every way.  I’ve also found that there is nothing better than hearing God say, “You are My beloved child, and I’m am pleased with you.”

In the next post, I’ll share the ways God is teaching me to live as a faith-walker instead of an approval-seeker.