Monday, May 20, 2024

Craving Approval

By Joe Slater

    We like to be liked and love to be loved. It’s normal. And like most normal things, we can carry it to unhealthy extremes. How many “likes” did I get on my Facebook post? Only fourteen? Woe is me!

    The earliest Christians in Jerusalem were “praising God and having favor with all the people” (Acts 2:47). The general population looked on those disciples approvingly as they saw them living reverently before God and taking care of the needy (2:42-45). Does our example today encourage our community’s approval? “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

    Before long, however, those positive feelings turned into bitter opposition and persecution. Proclaiming the risen Jesus as the Messiah didn’t set well with the religious elite. How disappointing! Our ancient brethren, however, didn’t despair, nor did they modify their message or their conduct. Even when beaten, they thanked God for the privilege of suffering for Jesus (Acts 5:41).

    When the world looks favorably upon you as you do right, that’s icing on the cake! But don’t allow yourself to develop an unhealthy craving for people’s approval. Remember these words from Jesus: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).

“For if I still pleased men, I would not be a

bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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