In today’s world it always seems like we are striving for someone’s approval. Everything we do is in a constant effort to gain the approval of others. Maybe it is striving to get good grades in school in order to gain the approval of our parents. Maybe it is striving to nail the presentation at work in an effort to gain respect and approval from our boss and coworkers. Maybe it’s going to the gym in order to get healthy and get in shape so that we can gain the approval of our counterparts. Maybe it’s succumbing to peer pressure in order to fit in with our peers. Whatever it maybe, we always strive to earn that pat on the back from others.
Because of this mindset, we tend to look at God in the same way. We think that if we attend church 3 out of 4 Sundays a month God will approve of us. We believe that if we read our Bible a little bit more God will be so proud. We believe that if we do more good things than bad that our good deeds will outweigh the bad and God will be pleased with us. On the other hand, we believe that if we don’t attend church or if we don’t read our Bibles as much as we think we should or if our bad deeds outweigh our good ones than God will be disappointed in us.
This idea of gaining or losing God’s approval of us couldn’t be further from the truth. In 3 out of the 4 Gospels Mathew, Mark, and Luke record for us the truth concerning God’s approval of us. They write that immediately after Jesus was baptized a voice from heaven said “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” The key thing to note here is that God said this about Jesus before He performed any miracles. This happened well before Jesus went to the cross. This took place long before Jesus rose from the dead.
You see God’s approval of Jesus had nothing to do with any accomplishment but it had everything to do with His amazing love He has for His son. It had nothing to do with Jesus’ condition but had everything to do with His position as God’s son. And the same holds true for you. Nothing you can or can’t do can lose God’s approval of you. Nothing someone or something can or can’t do can separate you from the love that God has for you. (See Romans 8:38-39)
If this is God’s view of Jesus then it’s the same view He has when He looks at you. Because of Jesus, God sees you and says “This is my son, this is my daughter, in whom I am well pleased.” So quit your striving to gain God’s approval and start resting in the truth that God loves you and is pleased with you. Stop your efforts for pats on the back and begin holding to His grip of grace. Take comfort in the truth that your Heavenly Father lavishes His approval over you.