This may be the rawest blog I have ever posted, but it needs to be said.
A couple of week ago, Samuel came home with some schoolwork that looked like crap. It was illegible. Granted, he’s only in the first grade, but we consistently talk about doing our best work instead of doing our work fast. As he was redoing the work, Sam asked Kim something to the effect of, “Mom, will you love me when I do my work the best?”
I took Sam to the bedroom and explained to him that I was proud of him and loved him because of who he is, not because of what he does. “I will always love you, Sam–no matter what you do.” To which he replied, “Thanks, dad.” That night, as I was tucking him in, he said, “And you love me no matter what, right?” “That’s right, buddy.”
Fast forward to last night.
I went with my sister to Crosspoint. Pete Wilson spoke to the “approval addicts.” I was thinking of at least four people I knew who should have been listening to this. But then he made a reference to how he had gone through seasons of addiction during his ministry. He admitted that he had gotten caught up in swooping in as the pastor and making everything better, not because he was so loving, but because he wanted to be loved.
That hit me like a truck. “I do that,” I thought to myself. I have used helping others as a way to make myself feel loved. I desire belonging. That is natural feeling. But when I find my acceptance in your approval, I am setting myself up for a catastrophe because, eventually, you will fail me. There will be a time when I do not meet your approval and if my sense of worth is conditional to your acceptance, I will have major problems.
You see, I really don’t need your approval on my life. I find me in Christ. Jesus has paid the penalty for my sin and, as such, I now live in Him. So your approval is no longer needed. This is exactly what I was teaching Sam, but I wasn’t living it out. From now on, I will make a daily effort to find myself in Christ and to remember that what I told Sam is true about God: He loves me for who I am, no matter what I do.