Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 22, 2021

Live From Affirmation – Not For It

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

When I was growing up, I was taught that looking good to others was very important. Whether it was keeping my weight down, wearing the right clothes, earning straight A’s, or having a handsome boyfriend, being “good enough” was imperative. Outside of these parameters, approval was very hard to come by. In fact, if a report card had six A’s and one B+, a typical response was, “What’s that B doing there?” I probably sought out affirmation a bit more vehemently than my peers because perfect was the expectation. Sadly, this approval-seeking took me down some dark paths for a lot of years as I tried to fill a vacuum-like void.

I would learn, after three decades of futile pursuits, that this soul-level hole was God-shaped, and it was only when I accepted Jesus Christ and His grace that I would be truly “enough.” Don’t get me wrong. The years since my surrender have been fraught with plenty of battles for approval, and the need for perfection is a hard habit to break.

Many of us, for myriad reasons, have (or still do) live for affirmation. In truth, today’s social-media culture is more obsessed with living for affirmation than any other time I’ve witnessed. “Enoughness” is all about the accumulated likes and comments. The desperate need for approval creates fragile hearts, establishes superficial existences, and even destroys lives.

As Christians, we have a greater Truth on which to stand. God loved you so much that He gave His only Son so that you would have eternal life (John 3:16). You are a beloved child of God through Christ (1 John 3:1), and nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35-39). You have been saved through faith alone, not by anything you did or didn’t do (Ephesians 2:8-9). No one will snatch you out of the hand of your Savior, and you will never perish (John 10:28).

Now that is some serious affirmation!

So, instead of living for the approval of others, which is as fickle as the wind, let’s cling to the knowledge of the miraculous life we have in Jesus. (It’s so mind-blowing that Jesus loved me in all my sin and paid the penalty I deserved to make a way for me to live eternally with God. Let that really sink in.) Then, let’s live from that love and affirmation! Let’s forgive, serve, and extend grace out of the overflow from our Lord.

Most importantly, let’s share this Good News. There are so many hurting people, looking for affirmation, hope, and love in all the wrong places. Seeking soul-satisfaction in another flawed and hurting person. But this is a fruitless search. There is freedom from inadequacy available for the asking.

Tell them that only through Jesus are we truly enough.

“Thank You, Jesus, for loving me in all my imperfection. May I, through the abundance of that love, share You with others.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life


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