Fearful for Approval

June 16, 2016

Many people have exactly one thing in mind when they go to their first day at a new school, workplace, or church: will the people there like me?

It is perfectly normal to desire to have the approval of others — because who wouldn’t want to be liked by everyone, right?  But it can become dangerous when we change our identity for popularity. When we change the way we dress, act, talk, and think all for the sake of acceptance of others.  I can remember when I was in high school walking in the hallway thinking, “Is my dress cool enough? I look so different than everyone else does.”

Everyone at some point in their lives have all been influenced for approval that has brought anxiety and fear. Anxious to have all the name brand clothes, to have the popular group of friends, to being accepted into college, or to owning a nicer car. I know because I use to be that type of girl.


Just so I could keep my states quo at school or to stay in with a certain socioeconomic group. But here is the thing: if you don’t keep the right mindset, you will always have the perspective of “Keeping up with the Joneses” that is like a never-ending vicious cycle of anxiety and fear.  If you don’t believe me, take a while to discover how much amount of debt American citizens are in today.  According to the NerdWallet.Inc, the average American citizen has $130,922 in debt and $15,762 is from credit cards.  That means that people are continuously swiping their credit cards for something they can’t afford, for something they don’t need, and for someone they don’t like.

I recently heard a sermon preached by pastor Jeff Jaco that really spoke to me about the immense pressure this world puts on society about the need for approval.  One thing that Jeff Jaco profoundly stated was, “If you do the same thing as everyone else, you are a participator, not an influencer.”

People have put their focus on the superficial all for the sake of approval.  For instance, the amount of selfies that are uploaded to social media daily is outrageous.  Pastor Jaco stated, “If God would like your Instagram, how many pictures would He like?”  We post what will give us more likes, comments, and shares all so that it will bring a greater sense of approval and confidence.

However, in all reality, it doesn’t matter what society says or think.  What matters is what God thinks of us. He doesn’t look at what type of car we drive, what brand of clothing we wear, or how many friends we have. We don’t have to get His approval of us if we follow a current trends in society or stay in a certain social group.  

God loves us unconditionally and all that truly matter is what He thinks of us – not what man thinks.  

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”
{Psalms 19:4}


He looks at the condition of our hearts, not the condition of our followers on Instagram. If you think about it, while Jesus was walking on earth, how many followers did he have?  Not a whole lot.  That shows you that you don’t have to have a lot of followers to be great.

Know this – it is not God’s will that we live in anxiety and fear of what man thinks of us when we have already been approved by God.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
{1 John 4:18}