Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Approval Trap

This week I started the Bible study Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman.  I am an online Bible study leader with Proverbs 31 Ministries with Melissa Taylor and this is the study we are currently doing.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I didn't really think I needed this book.  Control  Not a problem...or so I thought.  God is opening my eyes (as I had prayed at the end of the last Bible study, Greater by Pastor Steven Furtick).  When God starts to show you areas in your heart that need changed, it can be hard.  God loves me just the way I am, but I am forever thankful that He loves me too much to let me stay that way.   

Whenever I thought of Collosians 3:23 in the past, I would think of working hard at something, doing it with excellence and to the best of your ability as unto the Lord. 

This week, God is giving me another perspective. This perspective is about MOTIVE.

We can do all kinds of good works and ministry, but WHY are we doing it?  Why am I doing it?

Am I writing this blog today to see how many comments or "likes" it will get or am I writing it out of obedience, to help others, and bring glory to God?

Am I leading Bible studies so others will think I am spiritual and hold me up as a leader or am I doing it to help women become free and bring glory to God?
Whenever I do anything, am I doing it for recognition and praise?  Am I doing it for God's glory or am I doing it for mine?

These are hard questions.  I need to be sure my motives are right and pure.  I think most of the time they are, but are they always? It is easy to get caught in the trap of seeking approval.

Approval is a trap because it is an unending abyss.  The more approval one receives from man, the more one craves.  Nothing satisfies and nothing can fill it. The only way out is filling the hole with the assurance of the approval we have from the Lord.  We don't need the world's approval when we know we have His.

We all need to remember that God ALREADY approves of us.  We don't need others to approve us, He does!

Now when I look at Colossians 3:23, I see that in whatever we do, we need to be sure we are doing it FOR the Lord and not for ourselves and not for the approval of man. 

I am taking a hard look at my inner self this week to see why I do what I do.  Lord, I pray it would only be for Your glory and never for mine.

Father, I pray for a pure heart before you and man.  I pray I would not do things for the approval of man, but rather for Your glory.  Father, forgive me to the times I have sought the approval of man and even longed for it.  Father, thank you for opening my eyes and helping me see areas You want to change.  Change me Lord.  Help me know I am approved of by You.  Help me know I don't need to seek approval anywhere else.  I love you.  In Jesus' name, Amen. 


  1. "Am I writing this blog today to see how many comments or "likes" it will get or am I writing it out of obedience, to help others, and bring glory to God?"
    Needed that, Sue. Great post.
    (two minds think alike, i just posted one for my music blog)

  2. Wow, WHY do I do what I do? Is it to seek pleasure, to glorify myself, to bring glory to God? Very thought provoking and right on the money! Thanks Sue! :)

  3. It surly is His command and His approval that we must seek;
    So glad you have written this beautiful blog - filled with God's goodness! We have hope every day in Him.
    We live for an audience of One! Praise God!

  4. Very thought provoking.Thank you!

  5. I love your perspective. It really fits into this study. For some reason it wasn't until you said those words that it truly connected. I always thought of that verse slightly differently. Or maybe its the same. I'm not really sure. I thought of it in terms of willingness to do well. Sometimes its difficult to want to do well at your job when you feel your boss just stresses you out. You really don't want to do that great a job for someone you do not respect so you do things half way. But if you think of doing things for the Lord then you will want to do the best you can. Or even you feel your job isn't all that important. Your just a sales clerk at the local grocery store working for a huge heartless corporation. But if you see that what you are doing is for the Lord you will appreciate your job more. You will see ways to honor God in your job. Its kind of hard when you do not like your job and its just a job to pay the bills. But doing it for the Lord it becomes a mission.

  6. Ouch! Your post really hit the mark with me and made me think about the purity of my motives.
    Thanks Sue
    God bless

  7. Sue, I struggle with the need of approval! I love being surrounded by people who remind me that I am approved by God and that is all that matters! Have a blessed weekend!

  8. Thanks for your posting Sue. Wonderful to read!

  9. Sue-
    Thank you SO MUCH for participating in the blog hop. Praying for all of us as we learn to stop trying to control and start trusting God. Have a great weekend and remember to LET. IT. GO. :-)
    {Hugs} Karen Ehman

  10. In the midst of a harried life (I barely have time to read anymore, much less write!) -- I need this reminder daily. Hourly.

    Thank you.

  11. Ladies! I so wish blogger allowed me to reply to you all individually, but it doesn't. I just want to say thank you to you all for reading my blog and for your comments. I am glad what God laid on my heart was able to help you in some way. Love and hugs to you! -Sue


  12. Thank you Karen Ehman, author of "Let It Go", for taking the time to read and comment here! I am loving your book! The Lord is at work through it!


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