The Problem With Seeking External Validation

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
 
Throughout the course of my ministry, I’ve had to recognize my own limitations. I have colleagues in ministry whose ministry model calls for multiple church locations and many different services at each location. It is really quite impressive. They are incredibly successful. And periodically I encounter people who will suggest to me that I should do the same thing—that I should open up locations in other counties or in other parts of the city. Recently a young preacher, one of my little brothers from Morehouse, admonished me quite strongly to do a location in DC because he said there’s a good percentage of folks in DC who would like to come to our church but it’s too far away.  
 
I had to respectfully decline his suggestion, not because it wasn’t a good idea, but because it wasn’t a God idea for me. I didn’t receive that revelation. I know my limitations, and to get to that point you have to be secure within yourself.  
 
A secure person doesn’t make moves just because they see others doing something. Many people get burned out emotionally and spiritually because they are insecure within themselves and need an external source of validation. For example, people have the car they have not because they can afford it, but because they need their social circle to validate them.  
 
Other people are serial daters and are willing to date anyone because their insecurity prevents them from being discerning and waiting for the right person to come along. They just want to be in a relationship so bad because they see others in a relationship. There are people who do everything for clout. They present a false image of themselves on social media for likes and follows, but it’s not real. Clout chasing will get you in trouble. Clout chasing will stress you out. And you’ll never be fulfilled if you need external sources of validation.  
 
Paul makes it very clear that everything we do should be for the approval of God, not the approval of people. If we’re running ourselves ragged seeking external validation, we will never be content. But if we live our lives to please the Lord, honor Him, and obey Him, we will surely be satisfied and secure.  
 
So whose approval are you seeking?

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