Let God’s Approval Save You from Fear
By Rick Warren
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 NIV).
Advertising manipulates us all the time: “Buy this product, or you’ll miss out on life!” or “You’d be a fool not to take advantage of this sale!” Have you ever bought something you didn’t want or need just because you were afraid you might look foolish? Have you ever had someone in a grocery store offer you a little piece of food on a toothpick? And you really didn’t like the food, but you bought some anyway?
The fear of rejection allows others to manipulate us; it causes us hurt in many other ways. The fear of rejection pressures us to conform to peer pressure. We tend to walk like other people, talk like other people, act like other people, dress like other people. Why?
We don’t want to be rejected.
It keeps us from speaking the truth. Why do people lie? Why do people shade the truth? Because they’re afraid if they tell the truth, you won’t accept them.
Fear of rejection also silences our sharing about Christ. Sometimes silence isn’t golden; it’s just plain wrong! We don’t share our faith because we’re worried about the approval of others.
How do you overcome the fear of rejection? You need a new perspective!
You start by putting God first. Then you consider the opinions of others in a proper way. In other words, don’t overvalue what they say.
In Galatians 1:10, Paul writes, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (NIV). Paul says his goal in life is to please God, not people. He says I have a choice. I can choose whether I’m going to live for the applause of God or the applause of people. You can’t seek the approval of both at the same time.
The way to overcome the fear of rejection is to live your life for an audience of one. What God thinks of you — and his unconditional love for you — if more important than any one else’s opinion about you.
Talk It Over
- What’s the difference between being affected by people’s opinions and being directed by their opinions?
- Whom would you say you’re trying to please on a daily basis? God? Your co-workers? Your spouse? Your friends?
- How much more of your potential do you think you could reach if you sought the approval of God and no one else?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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