Addicted to Approval?

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Joyce Meyer

The only way out of bondage is to begin seeking God’s approval instead of man’s approval.

epidemic of insecurity is stealing the joy of life from many people in
our society today and causing major problems in their relationships. I
know the effect insecurity can have on lives because I experienced it
myself. I know what it does to a person. Those who have been hurt badly
as a result of abuse or severe rejection, as I have, often seek the
approval of others to try to overcome their feelings of rejection and
low self-esteem.

They suffer from those feelings and seek the approval of others to try
to remove the pain. They are miserable if someone seems not to approve
of them in any way or for any reason, and they are anxious about the
disapproval until they feel they are once again accepted.

They derive their sense of worth and value from the acceptance of others
rather than from who they are. That is why some people become approval
addicts, always needing the approval of others to be happy and secure.

They are controlled by their addiction. Approval becomes something they
believe they cannot live without. If they have it, they are happy and
feel good about themselves and others, but if they don’t, they are
depressed and critical.

People who are approval addicts have abnormal concerns and continually worry about what others think of them.

Like any addict, insecure people look for a “fix” when they get shaky.
They need someone to reaffirm them and assure them that everything is
all right and that they are acceptable.

The outside approval they seek dictates their behavior. They work to get
approval or a compliment, and it feels good for a while, but then they
find they need another and another. When they finally decide they want
to make a change, they discover they are trapped and don’t know how to
break free from the addiction.

No amount of approval from others will keep a person permanently secure,
but no one has to suffer from insecurity. There is a cure for approval
addiction, and it comes from receiving a revelation of the truth of
God’s unconditional love. The Bible tells us, “You will know the Truth,
and the Truth will set you free” (John 8:32, The Amplified Bible).

Only one thing will set us free, and that is truth. Yet that is the one
thing we have a hard time dealing with. We don’t mind facing the truth
about everyone else, but when it comes to facing the truth about
ourselves, it is quite a different matter.

True freedom never comes until we fully realize that we don’t need to
struggle to get from man what God freely gives us: love, acceptance,
approval, security, worth and value.

It was difficult for me to face my insecurity and say, “I am insecure, I
don’t like myself, and I need God’s help and healing in this area of my
life.” But I went through the pain of facing truth and change, and it
brought me freedom.

If I had refused to face the truth, I would still be in bondage. I would still be trying to please other people.

The only way out of bondage is to begin seeking God’s approval instead
of man’s approval. God wants our security to be in Him, not in things or
other people. He is the only One we absolutely cannot do without.

He is our Refuge, our High Tower, our Strength, our Stronghold in times
of trouble and our Hiding Place (see Ps. 9:9; 31:4; 32:7; 37:39; 46:11).
Our worth, value, acceptance and approval come from Him. As long as we
have those, we have the most valuable things in the world.

The Word of God says we can be secure through Jesus Christ (see Eph.
3:17). That means we are free to be ourselves and become all we can be
in Him.

I encourage you to look away from all other distractions to Jesus, “the
Leader and the Source of [your] faith” (Heb. 12:2). As you do, you will
be lifted to new levels of freedom and become the confident, mature
person you were created to be–one who can walk in the security of who
you are in Christ.

Joyce Meyer is the author of nearly 90 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Power Thoughts (Hachette). She is the the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs.

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