When my daughter was about 1 year old, she loved to play with a toy that required her to use a plastic hammer to pound different objects through the properly fitted slots. When she began, she didn’t use enough force with her hammer and the objects would simply rest on the top of the slots. I attempted to demonstrate to her how she needed to use more force. Understanding, she took the hammer and this time, hit the objects with more force. After several attempts, one of the objects was successfully pounded through its slot. Without missing a beat, she immediately turned to me, her face beaming with pride, eager for me to show her my approval. I was elated and gave her a big hug!
I was so touched that my daughter would first seek my approval for something she worked so hard to accomplish. Do I have this same attitude with my Heavenly Father?
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 (ESV)
For so much of my life, I sought the approval of others: my parents, my teachers, my friends, my colleagues. Like my daughter, I wanted to turn to them and see their faces shining with approval over what I had accomplished. When I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, this began to change. My desire was now to please God and not man. But it was not works to earn God’s love and approval. He gives His love to me as a free gift by His grace and mercy. I respond by doing things for Him, not because of obligation, but from an honest thanksgiving in my heart. This is the difference that took so long for me to understand.
The manner in which my daughter looked to me for my approval so many years ago reminds me how I now look to my Heavenly Father for His approval. It is a beautiful reminder of how God cares for all who place their trust in Him.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.