Identity is not a new issue for humans. Defining, living out and being comfortable with our identity has been an issue of self infliction for generations and it is only magnified by the raving narcissism of a culture saturated with social media and seeking the approval of others. Being man-pleasers. It is the death of us.
I want you to approve of this blog post. I want you to approve of my preaching, of my storytelling, of my appearance. I want to be desired and culturally influence. Some times it is for the right reasons but mostly it is because I am prideful and in need of approval of others. What about you? Ever find yourself attempting to be someone you are not just to be approved? I wonder if you heard a sermon once on the steps to being well-liked…
Sammy Rhodes has some important thoughts for our approval-seeking culture. They are game-changers for the Christian and if you struggle with acceptance or approval, or know someone who does, you must read Sammy’s post.
Rhodes calls us to realize what Jesus thinks of us, “The cruelty of approval is that you can’t ever really know what others think of you. But one look at the cross and you can be sure what Jesus thinks of you. He loves you to death. Literally. When talking about approval, my dad likes to say: “What you think of me is none of my business.” Making what Jesus thinks of you “your business” is one of the keys to fighting your approval idol.”
Most poignant for me is his call for us to live FROM our identity not FOR it. “Maybe it’s better to make the distinction between identity and image. Identity is something given, fundamental to the way you see yourself. Image, on the other hand, is something you create, and is fundamentally about the way you want others to see you. The sin of our age is to live for our image instead of from our identity. Which is why Vaughan Roberts wisely warns us that “wholehearted commitment to Christ will not be good for our image.” But we have something better than an image. We have an identity in Christ that nothing and no one can touch. It includes words like “sons,” “daughters,” “servants,” and “heirs.” In the words of Aslan, “You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve…And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.” You don’t have to be someone when you are someone.”
Read the whole post here.
Let’s put to death our need for people approval and live out our identity in Christ.