How to Stop Looking for Approval and Start Walking in Your Purpose
19 Aug 2016
One of the biggest challenges that keeps us from living out our purpose is our need for approval. I learned this as I talked to my circle of family and friends who are stepping out in faith to use their talents and gifts in a new way—as well as those who are afraid to. The reactions we get on social media usually either convince us we’re on the right track or take us off track. If we get a lot of likes, we believe that we are indeed living out our purpose. If we don’t get them, then we think we’re heading in the wrong direction.
We have to be careful about asking for other people’s opinions as a way to measure if we’re walking in our purpose. Other people’s opinions should only help to correct mistakes in our journey—not determine what that journey is going to be. The need for human approval is so strong that as Christians, we may forget it’s only God’s approval that matters. When we stand before the judgment seat of God, we will be asked what we did with the talents God gave us. Were we obedient to His will or did we hide our gifts like the man in the Parable of the Talents? On this journey called life, we are called to serve God and others with our talents.
• That talent could be teaching others a skill or life lesson that leads them to live out their purpose.
• It could be the ability to do small things with such care that you become a blessing to people at home, in your community, and in your workplace.
• It could be the gift of compassion that allows you to become another Mother Theresa to the forgotten and marginalized.
Whatever that thing is that God has put in you, once He shows you where He wants you to use it, don’t hesitate, second-guess, or wait on external approval.
Once you start walking in your God-given shoes, you may find that people you thought would support you turn out to be the very ones that try to sabotage you. After all, didn’t Peter try to stop Jesus from going to Jerusalem to fulfill His purpose (our salvation)? If this was the case for Jesus, you should not be surprised if you face the same challenges. Like Joyce Meyer says, when you go
to a new level, look out for a new devil.
Understand that walking in your purpose does not mean everything will go smoothly. As I’ve found out during my Zion Daughter music ministry journey, I have faced and continue to face many roadblocks and setbacks. Here’s what I’m learning from them:
• We need to see them as stepping stones to the next level.
• Getting to
that next level may mean taking a breather so you’re still walking in obedience and humility.
• Facing challenges as you walk in your purpose could also mean that the Lord wants you to take time out and “be still” so He can give you direction for the next step of your journey.
• It could also be that God is allowing these roadblocks and setbacks as a test of our faith. He wants you to keep on keeping on
moving no matter what things look like, no matter what others are saying, and no matter the response you’re getting (or not getting) from others. After all, we’re called to walk by faith and not by sight.
If we trust God and look only for His approval on every step of our journey, He will perfect everything and give us double for our efforts as He did with the wise men who invested their talents. At the end
of it all, the goal is to hear Him say ” ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.”
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in overcoming the need for approval? Are there things you are doing or not doing because others didn’t approve?
Photo by Dionysius Burton