The One Approver

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Approval. One of its definitions is the action of accepting or approving something. In the company where I work, and even in many other corporate companies, approval is something that is often sought. When an employee wants to apply for vacation leave, he or she would need to send a leave request to seek for the approval from the reporting manager. Only the designated reporting manager has the authority to approve of the leave. Or when the projected expenses exceed the budget, an approval from the higher management is required before the project team is able to proceed with the expenses. Only the higher management has been given the authority to approve such expenditure that is out of the agreed budget.

Another meaning for approval is the belief that someone or something is good and acceptable. Unlike the previous examples I gave, this seeking of approval is of a different nature. Instead of task related, this seeking of approval is brought to a personal level. It’s a seeking of others’ acceptance of our behavior and action, to be recognized and to be acknowledged by them.

When my grandfather passed away, my relatives decided upon every detail of my grandfather’s funeral matters. In one instance, when I made my choice not to be involved in the paganistic practice, my relatives made unkind remarks about my decision. As one who often seeks to maintain harmony within the family, it would have been easier to change my decision and accede to my relatives’ request. However by doing so, I would be seeking for their approval and disobeying God. Very quickly, I knew that I only had One Approver in life – our God. In my thoughts, my speech, behaviours and attitudes, it should all be seeking for one approval. That is the approval of our God.

At that point I felt like I was despised and not accepted by my relatives because I didn’t accede to their request. And these words of Jesus came to my mind.

Matthew 10:22 (NIV)
You will be hated by everyone because of Me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

This Word from God strengthened me and taught me to seek the approval of the One who matters most – God. Ultimately through the strengthening from God’s Word, I stood firm and continued to obey God in not participating in the paganistic ritual.

Have you met with a situation in which you were seeking the approval of people instead of God’s? I have had such experiences. The next time when we are tempted to do so, let us come back to God to seek His Word and know that only His approval matters. Perhaps there were times where we were silent about our faith in Christ because we feared the possibility of offending others. We were thinking to seek the approval of others. So we did not share our faith and the love of God to them. Other times in order to seek the approval of others, we may engage in behaviors that are not Christ-like, just so as to ‘blend in’ with the social circle. Seeking after the approval of others can be tiring, draining, frustrating and sometimes even disappointing. I urge you not to do so anymore. Instead, let us be always reminded that there is the approval of only One that we ought to seek. He is none other than our gracious, merciful and loving Heavenly Father – our One Approver.

Come join me in this prayer.

“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your Word that never fails to strengthen me and lift me up. Lord, I seek for Your forgiveness for those times where I have sought the approval of men instead of You. I pray that every day, I live my life to please only You in everything I do. I thank You, Lord, and I pray all these in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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