Thoughts for Thursday #5: Approval

Many don’t believe me when I tell them that I am a natural-born introvert. I have a quick wit, which contradictorily draws attention to myself when I’m with others. Yet, when I’m on my own (and without my phone!), I am completely in the moment. I concern myself only with what I am doing, and not what others think of me. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and being alone is refreshing for me.

Still I sometimes question my motives. I know that I began this blog with a pure heart. I honestly believe that this is one way that God wants me to use my spiritual gift of teaching. Despite my age when I began this blog in August (48 -3/4), I’ve had a desire to write since I was a kid. I just never committed to it. But I genuinely want to help people grow in their faith, and, given limited opportunity elsewhere, I decided to do what I could.

However, I soon became obsessed with checking my site to see how many people had read my latest post, and how many people liked it. I had my settings so that I would receive an email when someone liked a post. It feels good to know that people are connecting with what I say. It feels good that my labor is not in vain. It is my desire to reach as many people as I can; so I had good reason to check my numbers. At least that is what I told myself.

Last night I turned of the email notifications while I sort out my motivations. I don’t write posts to please anyone but God and myself. I write what I feel, and I write what I believe God wants me to share with the world. Still I’m too focused on results to be entirely confident that I am not seeking the approval of others. Paul writes, “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, ESV).

As an introvert, I think that I may be less inclined to be a “people pleaser” than perhaps an extrovert. But I still need to search myself daily, asking myself where my affections lie. Back in the 1980’s, the Christian band Petra had a song called Godpleaser. The chorus featured these lyrics:

“Don’t wanna be a manpleaser, I wanna be a Godpleaser, I just want the wisdom to discern the two apart… I just want to do the things that please the Father’s heart.”

I think we all could do with a reminder from time to time. Last night the Lord gently reminded me, and now I am gently reminding you! “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24, KJV).

While I won’t be keeping tabs on reads and likes nearly as often, please do like and share, because I do believe in this blog. I do desire to reach as many people as possible so that we can grow together in God’s marvelous grace!

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