Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
We all know this saying, “you are entitled to your opinion.” This statement embraces differences in the way we approach a subject, but it really means “it doesn’t bother me that you don’t see it my way.” Truth be told though, other’s opinions, especially when we are the subject matter, do have a grip on us. When these hard-to-hear opinions are offered by people who matter to you, like a parent or a boss, it really eats us up inside.
An example I could think of is when our parents critique the way we parent. I so wish that I could just say “that’s just your opinion, but we are the parents here!” Instead, I respond with anger and frustration, and attempt to prove them wrong. The fact is, I want them to agree with me because their approval on this matters.
In the start of the passage, Paul rebukes the believers in Galatia for deserting the true gospel he preached about the grace of Christ. He gets worked up as he saw these early Christian being swayed away from the truth. Then Paul states this rhetorical question about who his authority is. This verse is a great reminder to me when I get tangled up in seeking earthly approval. Before getting too deep into my frustration or, sometimes, the feeling of defeat; I take a deep breath and remember whose approval matters most to me.
We should respect and listen to the opinions of others as God does provide great earthly counsellors to help us grow, but remember who our real master is. God’s approval is the one that really matters and “who He says I am” is the truth.
Whose approval are you working so hard for in order to win it?
Next time you get tangled up in it, practice “who He says I am” by:
- Praising God for lovingly reminding you that you are precious to Him no matter what; and,
- Asking God to help you remember that His approval should be above all.