Distraction #2: Putting People’s Approval First
Who doesn’t want to get along with everyone?
But that’s different than seeking people’s approval. And choosing the approval of people over God is a guaranteed formula for losing your joy. Seeking people’s approval won’t bring joy—it will entrap you. In fact, anything you seek more than you seek Him and His Kingdom will eventually cause you to lose your joy.
When you look to Him first and seek His plan for your life, you’ll have plenty. But do you know He is enough?
Living to please people is a trap. People who truly love you won’t demand you to perform for them. If they’re demanding you to perform for them, they’re in love with themselves, not you. And people who demand you to perform what they want or they’ll reject you are caught in their own trap of insecurity. They can’t truly love you or anyone else. It will always come back to their insecurity, and you’ll constantly need to do more or prove more.
Jesus healed bodies, prayed, ministered, and fed the people around Him. He did incredible things. But as soon as He didn’t say or do what people wanted, they tended to leave Him. Not just a few, but most of them. He even turned to His disciples and asked if they would do the same. But the disciples had seen the other side of Jesus’ ministry–the hardships, the sacrifice, and His deep desire to help people. This all spoke to them and created in them a deeper relationship and commitment to Jesus.
Peter asked Jesus (paraphrased), “Lord, where would we go? You are the only one who has the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
They had seen too much to simply look at Jesus purely for what He could do for them. They hungered and thirsted for righteousness. Jesus sought first the Kingdom of God, and His joy wasn’t based on popularity with the people. It didn’t matter what others thought or who left. He was committed to pleasing the One He knew had called Him and to finish His assignment.
Maybe you’ve sought things and it landed you in a world of debt, and today you don’t find yourself any happier, but backed up against a wall. Or maybe you’ve tried to please people and it’s left you feeling alone or betrayed, or like you’re running on a treadmill to keep up with someone’s demands who is never satisfied with you, or that you can never do enough to make happy.
There is a Savior from all of the insanity and pressure of this world. He’s offering you peace and joy that you can be truly satisfied with. If you choose Him first—to hunger for His Kingdom—you will be satisfied with a joy that the world doesn’t give and can never take away.
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This blog was excerpted and adapted from Better Than You Feel.