Last week, we began talking about the disease of being a praise junkie, and how an unhealthy desire for human praise and recognition, can become a stumbling block in our walk with Christ.
If you realize you struggle with the need for approval for others, the first step to recovery that we discussed yesterday was to pray with all your heart, and to do some “remembering”. Here are those points to remember once again:
* Remembering that we are serving a God who does not need us, but allows us the privilege of being a part of His work, can quickly help us to embrace humility and thankfulness.
* Remembering that God is for us, and does not rate our existence in terms of worldly success, nor expect us to achieve perfection, removes the pressure of trying to impress or please others.
* Remembering that God loves us unconditionally, regardless of what other people think, and with or without the praise of others, eliminates our fear of failing, and allows us to serve God with a heart full of gratitude and love.
Prayer most certainly gives us the power to tackle any lie that we have entangled in our hearts, and after talking with God about it, there is another positive step we can take.
This next step would be to do a self-assessment, and think about what is really motivating you to continue serving God, or what is the motivating factor to do anything in your daily life.
First, ask God to reveal to you any areas that need reshaping, any insecuriteis that you struggle with, and for the strength to look deep into your heart and be honest with yourself. Then, you could ask yourself some questions, such as:
…through my acts of service and working with others, do I choose to be guided, or seek authority to control?
… in my job/community service/church work/family, do I feel a sense of failure if someone does not recognize me for my contributions or accomplishments?
…in my ministry work, do I choose to seek the spotlight, or do I willingly seek opportunities to serve in the shadows as God calls?
…in my thoughts, if I feel unappreciated or unrecognized in my efforts to serve God, do I get angry and resentful, or do I trust that God has a better plan?
…in my daily life, do I choose to serve others in small ways whenever I see a need, or do I seek to be recognized in the church pulpit for my sacrifices and hard work?
…in my heart, do I choose to hide my scars, or seek to live transparently for Christ, so that others can be impacted through His love in me?
These questions might be hard, and reveal a lot about our motivations, and needs for approval. But take heart – God knows what we struggle with, and in Him, there is no shame or condemnation – only love, and the desire to help us be more like Him.
These questions can also help us jump start our need, and our desire, to refocus our motivation to serve based on how Christ defines success, and can also cause us to think about what type of legacy we are building for ourselves.
A legacy is something that is passed down from generation to generation. When we think of someones legacy, we do not typically review their accomplishments, but instead, we consider their hearts and positive attributes. Their character.
What they accomplished unselfishly. How they portrayed Jesus, by being His hands feet. How they made a difference in the lives of others.
How their attitude was like His.
If we discover that we want our legacy to be different than what we are currently building because our priorities are askew, then through prayer and commitment, God can begin to transform our hearts and help us to reshape our legacy, through Him, and for Him.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord, if I am guilty of seeking human praise and recognition over Your approval, and have become addicted to the feeling of acceptance and success, please forgive me. You know the real me, and you know my heart longs to serve You, for all the right reasons. Reveal to me any areas of my life where I feel a need to be recognized, instead of seeking Your approval alone. Help me to push past fears of failure or criticism, and embrace what You have called me to do.
If I am in check with my emotional needs for praise, give me the strength to continue to rely on You for acceptance, and to praise You for blessing me with the gifts and abilities to serve You. Help me to stay focused on cultivating a true servants heart, and not be negatively influenced by how our world defines acceptance and importance. In Jesus name, Amen.
** I just love Nicole Nordeman’s song, Leave A Legacy, you can watch the video here or below for a little spiritual boost today on focusing on your own legacy.