Monday, July 14, 2008


“When we are set free from the bondage of pleasing others,when we are free from currying others approval-then no one will be able to make us miserable or dissatisfied. And then, if we know we have pleased God, contentment will be our consolation. ~Kay Arthur-


Oh, to be free from approval addiction! I'm 37 years old and although I know the principles of knowing that God is the only one I really *have* to please, I struggle with being shackled to the need to please others.

Yes, it stems from childhood abuse - emotional and verbal, the perks of being the daughter an alcholic father and a mother who just couldn't bring herself to get out.

For the most part, I am unscathed and make it okay in this world I live in. Growing up in Christ has freed me from so much. However, when it comes to my father, I am still a little girl and I find myself unable to just totally stand up for myself. If I do, I lose the approval.

It does spill over into other parts of my life, but more often than not, I've been able to reconcile it and be comfortable and content just being the daughter of the King. God keeps me centered. He drives me to dust myself off when I go through the battles of approval addiction with my earthly father, or others, and reminds me that He loves me. He spurs me on, promising that He will never ask more of me than I can possibly give or demand what I am unable to offer. He reminds me that my love for Him is enough, that my work for Him, although there's always room for improvement, is at least work for Him.

I think we should strive to please others, to live at peace with them and have a servant attitude. I do not think we should become a doormat, unable to say no, unable to be at peace in our hearts, wondering what someone thinks of us because we did this or didn't do that. It's a fine balance. What's the key?

If we are seeking to please others without Christ being at the root of the attitude we are doing the deed with, we need to evaluate why we're doing it in the first place. In other words, what's our motive? Once we get our motive right, we can be free from the misery and dissatisfaction when the ones we are trying to please don't offer that approval.

We need to seek God's approval when we are serving man and make sure Christ is our reason for the actual serving, then the approval we get from God will overshadow the dismissal we get from others.

Thus, contentment.

I admit that I've got many miles to go in practicing what I am writing here. I look forward to reading what everyone else wrote on this subject. It's one that I'm highly interested in, as you can imagine. Denise is hosting In Other Words Tuesday today. Click here to visit...Shortybear's Place.

Love,

13 comments:

Twinkle Mom of Sunflower Faith said...

ABSOLUTELY gorgeous blog; Talk about beautiful words and a beautiful blog to add...Laurie, I love how your blog looks!!

And your words have equally been of great comfort both via the blog and offline in emails...Thank you so much for your strength and encouragement and keeping me grounded!

Denise picked a great quote with much needed words to be read and remembered.

Denise said...

Amen my sweet friend.

MiPa said...

Thank you for sharing your heart today!

lori said...

Laurie ann.....
wonderful words...lessons learned from pain. What truth you speak, "We need to seek God's approval when we are serving man and make sure Christ is our reason for the actual serving.."
Good Stuff girl!!

I lOVE the new header and buttons!
Have a great Tuesday!
peace,
lori

Karen said...

Seeking God's approval, what a beautiful focus! Thanks

Terri Sue said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your heart!

Be blessed!

mamas*little*treasures said...

Hi Laurie Ann! Thanks for stopping by my blog today - your blog is beautiful! This is definitely an area of life that so many women struggle with. You are wise to see how difficult it was for your mom, given the situation she was in. But sometimes, in abusive situations, the best alternative is to "get out." as you said. But since you now recognize what happened to you and why, you are on the road to reaching your goal of walking with God and pleasing Him. Thanks for sharing! Nina

Cheryl said...

Laurie Ann,

First, let me congratulate you on your recent award!

I was picked on some when I was in grade school. I think that left me with a feeling of inadequacy!

The only person I need to please is the Lord. As long as I do this, then all is good.

Thanks for sharing your heart!

Have a great day!
Cheryl

Tracy said...

Well said, my friend! So true, if we can just please the Lord, the rest will fall into place. Believe it or not, this does get somewhat easier with age...not that it ever fully goes away, but it becomes less and less important the longer you live. Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart!

Blessings,
Tracy

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I agree; there's a balance between living in peace with people and desperately seeking their approval. We seek God's approval and by doing that, we live (for the most part) in peace with people.

Why 2nd Cup of Coffee? said...

This is indeed one gorgeous blog. Laurie Ann, you just seem so wise and balanced, and now I know that it is borne of a lot of pain. My husband is the adult child of an alcoholic; there's a lot to deal with there. I praise God that you are who you are where you are in life. I'm so glad to have met you.

Tami Boesiger said...

I praise God for the healing He's produced in your life. I'm sure He will use your painful past to help others. You are a testament to His power. Well done, friend.

And I agree with the others that your blog is beautiful. Very soothing colors. I like.

cassian99 said...

No one save for those of us who live with this affliction everday can understand how debilitating it is to suffer from low self-esteem which in turn leads us to seek the approval of others. We desperately need others to validate us, when God has made it so clear that we have worth simply because we are His children. Clearly, as Christians we know this to be true, but our emotional scars play a deadly role in preventing us from accepting such a marvelous gift. I pray God that those of us who are paralyzed by our need for constant approval would come to realize that He has already accepted us, and that we need to totally accept His free gift;that of being wonderfully and fearfully made by Him. We must accept His gift, because it is only when we do will we be able once and for all to break the chains that threaten to strip us of the very life that He sent His Only Son to die so that we may have and have more abundantly.