I don’t suppose I’ve ever mentioned this, but basically I write when I have something to say – which means that sometimes you get lots of blogs together, and sometimes I wander off into a corner. Sorry for the drought, regardless.
Reading a new book for a Bible study with a friend at church. She says I’m not allowed to read ahead (poo!) but it’s already been quite useful. The book is called, “Idol Lies” and it’s by Dee Brestin.
The theme of the book is the hidden idols of the heart. Now the church has been talking about idols in the life of a Christian for a while – people, activities, possessions, etc. This book changes that up by focusing on the heart-attitudes of idolatry. A need for approval, a need for control, a need for comfort. Focusing on the sources rather than the results.
I always know when God wants me to pay attention, He says stuff twice. :p My last book as an intern was “Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership” and while I’m not a leader, I took it seriously enough to look for my weakness, which landed me on a desire for approval.
I’ve been through the worst of the crucible of choosing other people’s pleasure with me over God… so I thought we were done here. It surprised me to be called back to this – but there’s always a new stone to extract, even in a well-plowed field. And the more I think about approval, the more I think, “Oh.”
As I said to my husband, I take out the garbage to make someone else happy. There is very little in my life that I do that isn’t designed to please someone else or elicit their approval. (If you want to know what I do totally for myself, it’s eat, sleep and read. It’s a short list). If you ask me if my need for approval is an idol, that I’ll put above God? No. As I said, I’ve been through that crucible. The most important person in my life, I had to hold out. It hurt. But I know that I will make that choice when it comes down to it.
So what gives? I’m growing in maturity. And mature ladies don’t let themselves be knocked down by every disapproving glance. And they don’t spend their time worrying about how others see them, they stay on course and worry about the other’s good and God’s glory.
I don’t see myself changing my nature any time soon. I figure God made me to make the people around me happy, and doing so brings me joy. It’s oxygen to me*, as t’were. But being a joybringer doesn’t mean *I* have to let myself be tripped up. I expect I might just be more effective if I’m spending less time worrying about what those I’m trying to love on think of me and just loving on them. (Love is in my blueprint, can’t help it).
Well. Only one way to fix a hunger – feed it. And so I asked God to be closer to me, let me feel His presence more in my life and let me know when I have pleased Him. The need for approval is never going to go away – I’ll just have to put it in its proper place, with everything else, at the foot of the cross.
This looks to be an interesting read, I’ll keep you posted if I’ve got more to tell! 🙂
*hat tip of the phrase to my friend L