Renee Fisher is a spirited speaker, coach, consultant and author, who published her first eight books in under eight years. A self-proclaimed "Dream Defender," Renee is passionate about calling dreams to life in others. A graduate of Biola University, she lives in Houston, TX with her handsome husband and their fur child named Star. Connect with her at ReneeFisher.com.
What happens when your need for approval isn't met?
Recently, I have been asked this question multiple times by multiple people since I started Dream Coaching. When all of my clients asked me this same question -- I started asking myself why our need for approval is so important!
Maybe you're dealing with a family member. He or she is a toxic person to be around, and because they're family -- you can't just cut off the relationship.
Maybe it's your parent or spouse. You crave their attention and approval, but instead you're met with insecurity, drama, and manipulated emotions.
Maybe a friendship has become toxic, and you can't believe you're having to choose between your spouse and your best friend. I know because this once happened to me!
Whatever the person or the situation -- I want you to know that craving approval is a universal desire. You are not alone my friend!
As I was praying about which Bible story to share, God reminded me of Paul. He also showed me that I was looking at our need for approval from the wrong angle. He also shared with me that if we are not careful our need for approval can have us looking at the glass half-empty instead of half-full.
Did you know that your need for approval is actually a symptom of having a victim mentality?
Ouch. You see, when Paul was under house arrest for two years -- he didn't view his situation as a hinderance. In fact, Paul allowed his chains to spread the message of the Gospel. Here is the key: Paul never once sought approval or saw the need to seek attention from the guard assigned to him.
In spite of his chains, in spite of the guard assigned to him 24-7 -- Paul spoke out even more boldly! He allowed God to transform Him through the Word because God's Word is not chained (2 Timothy 2:9b).
I want you to read this passage from Philippians 1:12-14 as if you wandered into Paul's house while he was preaching yet another sermon to anyone who would come and listen.
Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
Instead of viewing the toxic person assigned to you by the enemy as a hindrance -- let God teach you how not to be overcome. Instead, learn to be transformed and unashamed!
Paul continues in Philippians 1:18-21:
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Did you catch that?
Never once was Paul ashamed of his chains. So why are we walking about like zombies saying "woe is me" while playing the victim card. There's no person or situation that is literally keeping you in house arrest like Paul.
When we choose to rise above the person or situation, we are not only choosing to be bold for Jesus but to continue advancing the gospel so that others may hear and hope in Jesus Christ too!
Now, I understand that it can be devastating when a parent doesn't believe in you. When your need for approval is not met.
I get it. Trust me, I do.
It can also be difficult when your boss or best friend is making life a living hell.
I get that too.
There will be times when God uses your chains to keep you in one place, like Paul, because only God knows how to use you most effectively.
I can't take full credit for the verses in Philippians because I heard a sermon about Paul on Sunday from Pastor Miles DeBenedictis at Cross Connection in Escondido, CA. Pastor Miles said Paul had ADD, and it was through God's grace Paul was pretty much forced to stay in one place so that he would write.
And write he did.
Because of those two years on house arrest, Paul wrote what is known as the Prison Epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.
Imagine what God wants to do through your need for approval. My friends, pour out your heart to God. He sees your situation and knows just what it's going to take to transform you and take you to the next level.
I wrote on DevotionalDiva.com many years ago that it was because my former co-worker who tried to force himself on me resulted in me writing and blogging over 400 devotionals, which led to the release of my first book Faithbook of Jesus.
What does God want to do through your toxic situation? Do not underestimate the power of God working through your situation.
This is not the time to play the victim or look for approval. You already have it in God.
Go with God. Be bold. Be courageous. Do not be ashamed of your chains.
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:9-10, NIV).