"Look at Me!"2
Lana Waters Liu
Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them (Matthew 6:1a).
“Look at me, Mommy!”
“Look at me, Daddy!”
Moms and Dads are regularly given this order by the little ones they love.
For kids, their parents' attention and approval is like candy. So “Look at me!” they shout from the swing, from the pool, from the picture they have just colored.
Wanting approval comes naturally to us all. When we're kids, we can insist on it without causing ourselves and others too much trouble. As with most good things, however, we can slip into going overboard. We can not only crave more approval but also go looking for it in all the wrong places.
This craving plops us right into upside-down-world thinking. “Look at ME, everyone!” we say in thought, word, and deed.
Jesus knows this isn't the way our approval need will be met. We have left Someone Important out of the picture—the One Who knows us, loves us, and is Our Forever Parent: God Himself.
When our parents gave us the approval we asked for, they were imparting an understanding into us. We were learning the approval that matters comes from people who love us. This is one way parents partner with Jesus' efforts to convey His love and approval to children.
If our parents didn't give us the approval we asked for, we may think we aren't worthy of approval. That's when we do well to remember that Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Remember “A blessing is a powerful, effective word, a word that releases the favor and life and truth of God into our lives.”* In other words, God isn't dependent on parents. He speaks approval directly into us.
As we learn deep in our hearts that we have God's love and approval, our drive to get it from somewhere else diminishes. We don't have to emulate those in our Matthew passage who do what they do for show when we find our approval in our relationship with God.
*See Connect Devotional Shocking.
On from here...
Let's get honest with ourselves about our need for approval. Rather than beat ourselves up about it, let's ask God to forgive us for looking for it in all the wrong places.
Let's ask Him to enable us to receive His love and approval.