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Home The Light Articles from 2005 Whose Approval Do We Seek?

Whose Approval Do We Seek?

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Whose Approval Do We Seek?

by Raymond Walton

The desire to be accepted, to be important, is one of the deep seated urges of mankind. For some, it becomes an insatiable hunger which must be directed into proper channels.

Infants, teenagers and adults have this inherent characteristic, just as they have the emotions of fear, joy, etc. An infant learns early to seek the approval of those who care for him. This is evident by his cooing and smiling when he has accomplished some little feat which brings approval. As the infant progresses, he seeks approval in many ways. This can be an asset to him. As he grows up, he learns to gain approval at home by doing the tasks expected of him. At school he may devote himself to his studies to please his teachers. In the athletic program he may seek approval by acts of good sportsmanship, by playing to the grandstands or by his superior performance and good team work.

When one passes from childhood to teenage level, there are more numerous and different things that motivate him to seek recognition or approval. At this stage the consciousness of sex usually projects itself into the foreground. He may be led into many pitfalls of danger if there are no guidelines of conduct to help him distinguish between the right and the wrong–to know the moral and the spiritual course to follow.

Parents usually allow more and more privileges as their children get older, but they often fail to see that the youth’s spiritual and moral maturity have a very marked probability that he will go along with the crowd and say, "Everybody’s doing it," as if that were the proper criterion to follow! Parents sometimes fail to realize the danger of letting youth have too long a rope too soon, although as time goes on we must give them more and more rope, so to speak.

The teenager may become confused as he tries to understand the complexity and contradictions of the adult social world. They see the hypocrisy and lack of chastity and purity in the lives of adults.

The desire to be popular and to be recognized as one of the "social set" has contributed to a breakdown of sound moral living. Other factors have played their part…suggestive screen and television programs, evil associations, and lack of knowledge and practice of God’s Word are contributing to this breakdown.

We must control the desire for "acceptability and popularity at any cost." We are warned to shun or avoid the very appearance of evil desires and practices.

The apostle Paul wrote to the churches at Galatia, "Do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ." On another occasion he writes, "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts" (1 Thess. 2:4). Paul beseeches and exhorts the brethren in the same letter to so walk as to please God, "so ye would abound more and more" (1 Thess. 2:15,19).

If you have fallen prey to the desire for popularity or approval at any price, re-examine your thoughts and conduct and determine to change the current of your life’s flow. Why not accept the power and strength that is yours for the asking? Nothing is too hard for God to change. No sin or habit has so deeply stained that Christ’s blood cannot blot it out and make you pure and white again.

Why not let your conduct be such that the other members of the Lord’s body can see Christ in you? Who are you trying to please? Whose approval do you seek? Nothing can fill the place in your life that belongs to Christ but Christ himself. Why not desire to be popular with him? Then, all other relationships (family, friends, etc.) will fall into


place. Why not be important to Christ and be useful in his kingdom? When you decide for Christ and his teachings, such matters as styles of dress, social drinking and other practices that are approved by today’s society, will be solved with little difficulty.

Remember, a proper relationship with Christ–a life in him–is the most powerful, the most important, and the most acceptable life you can live, for it will please God.

–1731 W 17th Circle, Russellville, AR 72801



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