Whose approval really matters to you?
I was reading 1 Peter last week and was confronted with the question:
“Is God’s approval enough for me?”
The Apostle Peter writes to Christians suffering persecution during the brutal reign of Nero. Peter writes to encourage and instruct believers living in very difficult days. In chapter 2, Peter writes, “. . .if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.” (1 Peter 2:20b).
Living for Jesus wasn’t winning any accolades in Peter’s day. Rejection, suffering or even death were more likely options. Approval from men wasn’t available. They had to be satisfied with God’s approval and that is what bothers me. I don’t know if God’s commendation…God’s approval is really enough for me…enough for us.
We want people to like us and give us their approval.
We love when people recognize our service and commend us.
We wish that the world would understand our convictions and applaud their wisdom.
We long for others to come along side of us and submit to Jesus.
We hope to see our culture bend it’s knee to the biblical values that we cherish.
What if none of that happens? What if no one commends us? What if no one ever notices the work we do for Jesus? What if no one likes us? What if they reject our values…our beliefs…our God? What if they hate us, jail us or ostracize us? Those days may very well be coming.
Will God’s approval be enough?
When we live godly lives without fanfare, suffer unjustly, or serve anonymously, we walk in the footsteps of Jesus. God gives his approval. God says “well done.”
We have to learn to be satisfied with that. We have to choose to value God’s opinion above all others. We must set our hearts on pleasing God and not men. As Jim George says “God’s approval should be your standard for success.”
May it be so.