Tuesday, March 13, 2018

STAMP OF APPROVAL

I am learning a great deal about myself during our small group study of Search for Significance.  I am going out on a limb here and telling you if you have never read this book--PLEASE consider doing so.  It has been one AHA! after another as the study has progressed.




One of the worldly traps to which I have fallen victim is the Performance Trap.  Here in the final chapters of my life, I discover there have been many a goal I have chased--for temporary gain.  When we begin to place our self worth on our next achievement, we begin the slide down the slippery slope to despair.  For you see, there is always one more hurdle to jump, one more golden ring, one more award, one more achievement in the never ending treadmill leading to absolutely nowhere.  I have allowed man's approval to become my drug of choice to which I am addicted.  No matter how much approval I get, I always want more. "When we evaluate ourselves by our performance, we're ultimately going to lose, no matter how successful we are at the moment."



It has not been enough to chase the elusive laurel wreath of victory in one area, I have turned virtually every area of my life into a competition against myself.  Whatever I have achieved today is soon over shadowed by the next one more thing.  Putting all my apples in the performance basket has lead to a basket full of rotting apples destined for the garbage heap of forgotten ribbons, trophies, and medals.   


Bottom line, my quest for man's approval has become my golden idol.  "Consciously or unconsciously, all of us have experienced this feeling that we must meet certain arbitrary standards to attain self-worth.  Failure to do so threatens our security and significance."  I have lost my way as I aimlessly stroll down the path in search for acceptance and significance.


  I have forgotten The One to whom I am most significant.  God's truth is reliable and His Word is filled with the assurance of His love for us.  "God's truth is the only reality that can help our thinking to be conformed to His, so that our self-esteem is based on how He values us."  In layman's terms, God loves us first and best.  Man's approval is fleeting and temporary, but God's approval is eternal.

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? 
Or am I striving to please men?
 If I were still trying to please men,
 I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10

8 comments:

  1. I think I understand what you are trying to say; or at least I am trying to understand what your are trying to say. Indeed, many of us strive to achieve one success after another and it becomes our lives' goal. But, are you being too hard on yourself, Lulu? Were the achievements you were striving for not a necessity, at the time, to keep body and soul together in this competitive and often too demanding world?

    We all struggle to achieve and to aim high in life, (except me because I am short), but that in itself should not be a stick to beat ourselves with. We often do it out of necessity, for us and our loved ones. I often struggled, commuted daily by train, drove long distances, worked more hours than there are in a day, in order to succeed and achieve. But I, like you no doubt, and many others, did it and still do it for our families and loved ones. There is nothing wrong in that.

    If our struggle to achieve is to the exclusion of God and all He has provided for us; that's when it's all gone wrong and our focus has been taken away from Him.

    God bless.

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    1. Precisely what I am trying to say, Victor. FIRST God!!
      Blessings, My Friend

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  2. I was going to say the same as Victor. No sense in being a repeat parrot...sounds like a good read, Lulu...but, I do think perhaps you are being a little rough on yourself, smiles.

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    1. It’s my way to get my attention, Linda! In all truth, the book has been a life changer! I’ll take it even in the final chapters!
      Blessings, My Friend!

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  3. We have all searched for THE book that will make our lives better. You seemed to have found it. Sometimes someone can say something in a certain way that clicks with us. We all are different and learn and/or listen in different ways. A big hallelujah to you for finding this group, this book, and a new spring to your step.

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  4. Lulu, I think we've all been there and done that; I know I have! But God has revealed that I am beloved just as I am. I don't need to jump through hoops to get His approval, and His is the only approval necessary.
    Blessings to you!

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  5. Yeah, the performance trap. A real easy way to trip ourselves up. And whenever we think we've conquered it? Well, guess again. The enemy's got our number.

    But greater is He who lives in us ...

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  6. I remember reading that book and the things God revealed to me were heart changing. It's good to examine our self and if repentance is needed , do so then put it under the blood. I love the truth God does not bring to our mind to condemn us but to reveal Him. Anytime we look at self one of two things happen, we get depressed or puffed up until we then look at Jesus, only He is perfect, only He loves us divinely, only He can give forgiveness, only He can help us live rightly before Him and the world.
    Encouraging read because you came to the end of yourself and there He was, just waiting to love on you.

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Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!