‘I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.’ Galatians 1:10 NLT
We tend to fall into one of two traps:
(1) Thinking too much of ourselves. Harry Truman was thrust into the US presidency by the death of Franklin Roosevelt. That’s when Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House, took him aside and said, ‘From here on out you’re going to have lots of people around you, and they are going to tell you what a great man you are. But Harry… you know and I know you ain’t.’ Truman took that advice to heart, and became a truly great president. To succeed in the assignment God has given you in life you need two things—dependence on God and confidence in God (see 1 John 3:21–22). As long as those two things are in place you’ll succeed.
(2) Thinking too little of ourselves. Many of us have made it our goal to change someone’s opinion of us; to prove to them that we’re valuable. Until you stop agreeing with the opinions of those who criticise you, you’ll remain locked in a prison of your own making. When your critic’s opinion becomes your opinion, you’ve built a prison inside your soul with only one prisoner—you. The fact is some of the people you’ve spent your life trying to impress may never be impressed. And you need to accept that—from God’s perspective—it doesn’t matter! To succeed, you must be able to work alongside others without letting yourself be controlled by their moods and opinions. That’s why Paul wrote, ‘I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.’
SoulFood: Exodus 20:1–17, Matt 5:1–12
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023