How to Seek God’s Approval Instead of the Approval of Others

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Some people are born with super-thick skin and have the innate ability to resist seeking the approval of others. Yet there are those of us who’ve struggled with people-pleasing most of our lives. We sometimes forget the most important stamp of approval comes from God. How do we begin to seek God’s approval before all others?

#1) Seek God’s Approval in Praise

“Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws” (Psalm 119:108).

The first step in seeking God’s approval is to start with a willing attitude of praise towards Him. Praising God in either song or reading the Psalms begins the process of a transformed mind. Your thoughts will be more focused on pleasing God first and everyone else afterwards. If you struggle with seeking God’s approval first, make an intentional effort of beginning and ending every day with praising God.

#2) Seek God’s Approval in Penance

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you” (Psalm 51:4, 12-13).

It’s sinful to put pleasing people before pleasing God. Jesus said, “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). There needs to be a time of confession and repentance for the times we’ve faltered in our faithfulness to seeking God’s approval first. The Lord is faithful and willing to forgive leading to a cleansing process from this unrighteousness.

How to Seek Gods Approval Instead of the Approval of Others

#3) Seek God’s Approval in Petition

“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 17:6).

When you have sought the Lord’s approval first before moving ahead, you will find more boldness in your petitions. This happens because you’ve aligned your thoughts and desires with the Lord’s desires. You will find yourself no longer seeking or desiring man’s approval because you will be driven towards praying according to God’s will more so than your own will.

#4) Seek God’s Approval in Preparation

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:15-16).

When you’ve spent a lot of time trying to get everyone’s approval, there’s a painful time of breaking away on both sides. Those people accustomed to you wanting their approval will be dumbfounded by your lack of response. Yet this is necessary for you to mature in your faith walk because you will find resistance in those who want you to seek their approval first. However this is part of your preparation in standing up for what’s right even without the support or approval of close family or friends.

#5) Seek God’s Approval in Power

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

We have no power within ourselves to stand against decades of seeking the approval of others. However in Christ all power is given to us to overcome the desire of pleasing people more than pleasing God. We will need to put our prayer and Bible study reflections into action through the power of the Holy Spirit. He will enable us with the right words and actions to bring home the point that we are His children and created for His purposes. 

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33, KJV)

How different the world would be if every single believer started the day with a statement like this: Father in heaven, I want Your approval more than the approval of men…show me how I can bring You pleasure today. The culture as we know it would be turned upside down because we would see mighty works of God on a regular basis. We are called with a holy and precious calling to serve God with all our hearts. Seeking His approval first completely nullifies a double-mindedness about what we are to do. You are born again into the freedom of seeking God’s approval first.

Here are some ideas on how to serve God: 10 Unique Ways to Serve God

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Denise Johnson January 18, 2016 at 9:56 am

This has been very helpful. I teach at my church and I find myself asking people how did I do. God told me yesterday, you don’t need to seek approval/validation from man, I have already approved and validated you as the teacher I have called you to be! Thank you.

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