“For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” John 12:43
From the beginning God created us for fellowship, both with Him and with each other. After creating Adam He said it was not good for him to be alone. So he created Eve and Adam now had human fellowship. And civilization from that time has enjoyed fellowship with others. But this fellowship was never intended to supersede or replace our fellowship with God. But our fellowship with each other was to be enriched and deeply satisfying because of our fellowship with Him.
Our creator knew that within each of us was a desire for acceptance. This was a desire that He intended to be met in Him. However, just as sin has distorted everything else, it has distorted this as well and we have looked to any number of places and people to find acceptance.
While we are exhorted by Scripture to live at peace with all men, we are never told to seek the acceptance of men. Many times, obtaining the acceptance of those around us will require compromise and this is a dangerous thing. Once we have begun down this path it is hard to find our way back, for then we risk losing the approval of those we have worked so hard to please.
The glory that comes from man is fickle and fleeting. It is never worth the price of obtaining it. Much greater and commended by Scripture is seeking the glory that comes from God. This is the acceptance that is the inheritance of those who belong to Christ.
Accepted in the Beloved.
Not because I did it right, but because He did it right. For those of us who have experienced many failures and rejections in life, this is a precious promise.
And when we live seeking acceptance or approval from other people, we have turned their opinion of us into an idol that distracts us from the only one who truly satisfies….
I’ll take this opportunity to first say hi to Brian (eph5v2) and say that I think the 3 of us share a common passion.
You may recall a few months ago that I caught myself looking for the praise of man. It is really like so many other cravings we have. . . they aren’t wrong, we all have them and I think they are quite natural. But with me, and I suspect with both of you, as God is our passion, to seek anything but Him is a sidetracking. We trust Him, who made us with these cravings, to provide for us means by which these cravings can be fulfilled.
For some reason, though others seem to have no problem with it, we cannot lift a finger to do it ourselves. It must be His gift to us. He must do the lifting and the providing. When He does it, He adds no sorrow with it. When I try to do it, it seems to be filled with sorrow. So until He gives, we learn first to be content with Him. He is our all. As we learn to seek Him first, all these other things will be added.
While I am in the commenting mood, I feel I must add another. A while back you commented on ‘The Hour Has Come’. My reply, though at the time it seemed fine, comes to mind occasionally. As it seems we are both on a similar journey of God being our all, my reply was more to the resulting benefit of that journey – in spite of all – and did not mean to be insensitive to your gut wrenching situation.
As you have said before, it is soemtimes challenging, even when you can see a person’s expressions, to understand exactly what they mean by what they say. Even more when all you have are the words. Consider this a second attempt, though again with just words, to clarify what I meant.
Mike, thanks for the clarification, but I assure you it was not needed. Your response was very comforting. What could be more helpful to a believer who is suffering through a difficult issue of obedience than to be reminded of the pleasure our obedience brings to God?
The more I long to walk closely with Him, the less important the opinions of others become. It is very rarely that you can simultaneously please both God and man. The approval of man will never satisfy, and the seeking after it will cause us to become untrue to ourselves, as we seek to become what would be pleasing to them. But as we seek to be pleasing to God, we become more and more of what we are meant to be – conformed to the image of Christ.