Being Confident of This

Grace for the work-in-progress woman

Fighting Fear With Pre-approval

on April 22, 2014

In just two days time, I’ll be bearing a bit of my heart here on this blog.  I’ll be sharing my story, my part of the Thursday series – Verdict on Value.  And once again, I find myself a little afraid. 🙂

It happens sometimes when you write, especially when the subject matter brings up conflicting emotions. You may feel confident at first, but then you begin to doubt. Will the words really matter?  Will others understand?  Have I handled this subject fairly?

And the worst of all fears. What will people think?

That’s really what it boils down to: how others might receive those carefully penned or typed words, some that brought forth smiles and fond memories and others that brought forth tears and sorrow.  I’ve been learning my whole life it seems how to let go of that pressure, the pressure to be perfect.  And not that anyone ever told me I had to be, because they didn’t, but that I convinced myself it was necessary, like so many other undesired sacrifices.

I wanted to be the good girl, the best girl, and if I’m being really honest there is still some little part of me that wants this, too. I wanted to be praiseworthy, a flesh-strong desire for recognition. I wanted to be perfect lest anyone find a reason to fault me, a defense mechanism of sorts.

I see it now even in one of my young sons.  He yearns for praise.  I often catch him bragging because he yearns for others to see how wonderful he is.  And truly, he is wonderful (at least in this mama’s eyes!), but it hurts me to see him striving so at such a young age.  At the same time it reminds me that I still struggle myself.  So, how can I help him to see the truths that I’m still learning to recognize?

I can only hope that being honest, taking down the facade, and admitting my own failings will help him to recognize that we all fall short, we all do.  Ever since the days of paradise and a forbidden apple eaten, we all fall short.

I can only hope that teaching him of a Savior who turns those weaknesses into strengths, who has a plan for him, who loves him just for who he is and not what he does, who cherished him even before he was born, who welcomes him with open arms when he fails – I can only hope that such knowledge will sink deep roots into his young heart much earlier than those truths began to sink into mine.

I’ve been reading Jennifer Dukes Lee’s posts about our Love Idols (would love to get her new book, too!), and realizing how early it starts, this yearning to be approved by this world when we are already approved by the Maker of this world.

Even from those early toddler calls of “Look at me, mommy!”, we want to be seen, to be valued, to be approved.

 “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?

Or am I striving to please men?”

Gal. 1:10 (a)

Sadly, some of us, yes even us Christ-followers, will spend our entire lives chasing that approval, all the while fearing that we just aren’t good enough. We’ll miss the irony that we are already pre-approved by the most powerful Person in all of creation because of His Son!  If we could only grasp that early on and not waste precious years searching for something we already have in our possession.

fear, approval, self-worth, identity in Christ, worth in Christ

But we can, sisters.

We can begin right now.  We can ferret out those love idols in our lives and hand them over to our gracious and loving Father.  We can cling to the hope of imperfect progress and proclaim the bold truths of Philippians 1:6 (see sidebar).  We can share with others what we are doing and ask them to do the same.  We can speak truth to our children about this pre-approval, bought at the price of a one and only Son.

I’m asking the Lord to help me lay down my love idols, my need for human approval and perceived perfection.  I’m asking Him to work in the hearts of my children, that they will learn early on what it means to be cherished by the One True God, King of Kings, Sovereign Lord, the Most High.  I’m asking the Father to open their eyes wide to these truths.

And I’m asking for you, too, my sisters, that you will see how fearfully and wonderfully made you are in the eyes of your Creator.

We who’ve been painted red that we might be white as snow.

I’m banishing fear for tonight in favor of truth.

Join me, will you?

Jen 🙂

For more information on the Love Idol movement, check out the facebook page!

I may be sharing this with any of these lovely blogs and here:

 The Time Warp Wife, Rich Faith Rising, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Wholehearted Home, A Little R&R,

Woman to Woman,Titus 2 Tuesday,Cornerstone Confessions,

 

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5 responses to “Fighting Fear With Pre-approval

  1. Sandra says:

    Thank you! I struggle with the same love- idols in my life as well. I want approval and fear what people may think of me way to much. I want to be free! Have prayed about this for so long in my life. I believe that God is working in me and I am thankful for your story it helps me realize that I am not alone and He will complete the work that He started in me. God Bless! 🙂

    • Yes, Sandra, I think many of us have struggled in the dark for too long, thinking we were all alone. Because that’s the way the Enemy likes us – isolated and discouraged. I’m so thankful for the voices I’ve been reading lately that are adding to God’s message to me that I’m already His beloved. I look forward to that completion someday, too!
      Jen 🙂

  2. Jen, this was a really sweet post.

  3. […] Father was quick to answer with truth from His word. He reminded me of my pre-approved status. He reminded me that I am a work-in-progress, not yet complete, but fully loved, fully […]

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