Today I had a soul-shifting conviction; I am addicted to seeking approval. To maintain approval I inadvertently shape my life to avoid uncomfortable situations and gravitate toward people, places, and things that are like me. By doing this, I deprive myself of understanding the full character of God.
When something or someone isn’t what I prefer I ignore it and put the God Stamp on my decision. What is the God Stamp? It’s when I say, “I don’t feel_____, so I don’t think I’m being called to______ “. It’s my get out of feeling guilty free card.
Living life based on preferences I create a false reality. I believe I overcome ‘sin’ and serve as a shinning example for others. I fall into a trap of believing I am ‘special’. Of course I ‘overcome’ sin, it’s easy to love my neighbors when they are just like me!
Part of building my false reality also includes being selective about people I allow to enter into my world. “I have to be wise about who I invest my time in”, and by adding the God Stamp it makes my belief Biblical and true….
If you are currently my friend, congratulations – you made the cut! You are very similar to me: Caucasian, ‘down-to-earth’, educated, fun loving ‘Christian’. If you are not like me than you made the cut because there is something in your personality I aspire to be: fashinista, world-traveler, success early in life, or just infinitely cool.
If you don’t fit in either category, but are still my ‘friend’, it’s because you approve of me in some way and think I am spectacular. For this type of ‘friend’ I go above and beyond to carry out this façade. I never talk to you about my bad days, only discuss what great things God is doing in my life; and if you are younger then me – bestow unsolicited advice to you, because I am so filled with wisdom. Barf! To friends in the latter category, I apologize the most!
How can I truly love like Jesus when I am surrounded by people that are easy for me to love? How can I stretch my faith if I only worship and believe for specific things under certain circumstances? How can I serve others when I only let people in my world that benefit me?
Starting today I am pushing past my preferences. I am no longer seeking approval. I am opening myself up to experiencing a God who is diverse and loves EVERYONE. I’m stepping out of secure environments and embracing cultures and traditions that seem weird and unusual. I am walking across the room and introducing myself to strangers, even when it’s awkward, and even when there’s a risk of rejection. Starting today, I am willing to be stretched!