Summary: How to lose approval addiction, and gain security, from knowing our Father God loves us
Losing approval addiction and gain security
This past week we have taken Clem to full time pre primary for the first time.
He does not know any of the kids in his class. One of the questions you cant help but ask as a parent is, have you made any friends.
Really you are asking, is there anyone in your class that approves of you? That likes you?
In this church we have a wide range of people, and I reckon you can tell a lot about someone by what their response is to this question.
Did you enjoy high school?
It is in high school that that question do you have any friends, is really important.
I would have to say for me, I did not like my time at high school at all, and I don’t keep in touch with any of my friends there.
My sister Cherie however has life long friends there, and she went back to the ten year reunion and all the rest.
I would guess that there would be people here this morning that still regret those years spent in that way. Maybe even people that harbour pain over rejection, over disapproval from people. There is a condition or a state that some people find themselves in which could be called a Hunger for Approval
Most of us want to be noticed, appreciated, respected, and loved. We want it from our friends and our parents. We especially want this approval from our dad.
When that approval does not come, or is slow to come, it can be like a
huge vacuum in our centre – the place inside us that aches for a word of affirmation, a kind word, a gentle smile, or a pleased look.
One of my good friends is a Pastor, and his dad would very rarely give out praise. In fact for him an a was not good enough on the report card, it needed to be an A plus. And even then, approval was only temporary and short.
As a consequence my friend is a workaholic, driven person, always looking to succeed, always wanting not just approval but for people to acknowledge him.
That is one way approval addiction can drive us, to high achievement.
Another way lack of approval in our formative years can affect us is that we search for a substitute. Particularly in girls the absence of this approval from a loving father can result in a search for love from others – sometimes in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways. In boys this absence of approval can lead to anger.
We get older, we get out of high school, and a lot of people are very happy to leave that microcosm of intense pressure. But still you might find yourself
hungry, seeking approval, wanting affirmation, loving the applause, thirsty for acceptance.
Lets think about some balance here, Approval is not a bad thing to desire.
Jesus sought the approval of His father, and obeyed him. IN the story of the Baptism of Jesus, you can find it in the gospel of Mark chapter one, Jesus went and got baptized,
9 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and he was baptized by John in the Jordan River. 10And when Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven saying, "You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you."