Whose approval are you seeking?

Cathy Hurtado 

"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven."  Matthew 6:1

As a college student, the woman who was helping me to grow in my walk with Christ pulled me aside one day and told me that there was an area of my life that I needed to work on. She shared with me that I was too focused on pleasing the people around me and worried about what they thought, more than I cared about pleasing God. She was right. I rarely had an opinion of my own. I just wanted people to like me so I did what I thought they would like. That summer, she gave me two passages to study: Matthew 6:1-18 and Galatians 1:10. As I immersed myself in God’s Word and let the Holy Spirit work His Word into my life, my heart gradually shifted from desiring to please the people around me to desiring to please God over everything else. I began to see the unhealthy motives behind my actions and how divided my heart had been.

At the end of the summer came the big test. I knew what God’s Word said, the question was, “Would I do it?” The Holy Spirit put on my heart the need to talk to the Campus Ministry Director about an area of his life. As the days went by, the weight of the Spirit got heavier and heavier. I used every excuse I had with God only to realize that I had two choices. I could worry that he would hate me the rest of my life or I could choose to please God and be obedient to His leading. Of course at that point, I knew what I had to do. Fearful, trembling and utterly dependent on God, I asked the director for a meeting. As I shared with him what God had been showing me, he thanked me. He didn’t reject me. He continued to talk to me and treated me as he always had. And, God was able to better accomplish His work through that man.

I encourage you to check your heart. Why do you come to church? When you do something for God, do you need to tell others about it? What step of obedience have you been avoiding because you are afraid of what people might think?

I’d like to leave you with Galatians 1:10, which says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”


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