Friday, February 5, 2010

Are You an Approval Junkie?

I look out anxiously at the mass of people and nervously straighten my new dress. I sit in a row of other nervous students clutching sheet music or desperately wishing they were. I scan the crowd, my stomach jumping. There! In the third row from the front are my parents and my young siblings, proudly supporting my first piano recital. I relax just a little. Then, a nudge. It's my turn! Determined to get on with the inevitable, I fly across the stage as if projected from my seat. I give it my all, plunking away with abandon the all-too-familiar song. As soon as I hit the last note, I fly back to my seat, eager to get the attention on to someone else. As the next beginner student plods through his piece, I notice my teacher in the seat ahead of me jotting notes beside a list of names. I do a double take--beside my name. It says something about my playing too fast. I sit later during the awards ceremony as the trophies are given away and go home with a participation certificate.

Year after year, that's all I received, a participation certificate. In my thinking, I had failed. My teachers did not approve of my performance.

Silly, wasn't it? It wasn't until recent years enjoying a piano concert that I realized that approval didn't matter. No, I couldn't play like the master on the stage. But I didn't need to. Though I love the piano, performing for the masses isn't my calling in life. I use my talents, limited though they may be, to awaken a love for music in beginner students and to accompany the congregation and some soloists at my church. I think that realization was the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

Does it matter if everyone approves of the way I live my life? No, that's not even possible, so why try to please anyone but my Savior?

Does it matter if someone doesn't approve of how I look or what I weigh? No, not at all, because my physical body is just the outer wrapping for my eternal soul.

Does it matter if my parenting style isn't met with approval? No, the only One I answer to is my Lord.

Does it matter if you don't like my writing? Well....maybe a little....After all, who else would I write to? (I guess I need a little more work.)

How about you? Do you seek the approval of people or the approval of the Lord Who loves You more than You could ever understand? Tell me about your journey to breaking "approval addiction".


  1. Living a quiet, low profile life - not trying to draw attention to myself but letting my light shine before men that my Father in heaven may be glorified. Because we are human and naturally seek approval, this can be a very difficult balance. I have struggled with this as I think if we are honest, we all have. But daily, especially when I blog here and there on a very small scale, I remind myself that it isn't to bring me glory or praise, but my God who is soley responsible for the only good in me. I wish to bless and encourage wives and mothers. I have been blessed and encourged so much that I feel it a privilege to get to pay that forward if the Lord leads someone to me. I disabled comments on my blog for this reason (the approval thing). I like to leave them but not get them. I cannot handle it. Getting them or not getting them can drive me nuts! I want to put what I have to say out there for the right reasons - one of them being NOT to draw attention to myself but to be a blessing and an encouragement. Plus, I've seen in comments before an almost worship of certain bloggers and it scares me. I would not likely get that kind of cult like following with a diaper blog but still, there are so many ladies with low self worth - always looking to someone to help them get where they want to be. Mothers and wives can encourage eachother but it is God who makes real and lasting changes in our hearts and lives. He also does not have in mind for all of us to look or live exactly the same of follow some formula that works for someone else.

    This is dose of approval addtion antidote that I take but one dose is not enough. I must take it often. I strive to keep a meek and quiet spirit but yet reach my hand out to other wives and mothers to both give and receive encouragement.

  2. You have a lot of wisdom, wifeandmom! Thanks for these words. I had never thought of allowing comments as a way to look for approval, but I guess that kind of goes with blogging. We know if we're getting through by the comments we receive, and worry that we're not getting through if we don't receive any. You've given me something to think about! God bless you today and thanks again for your insightful comment.

  3. Thank you so much for this post! This is something I still struggle with daily although not as much as I did before. I'm learning a lot from your blog : )