Man looks at the outward appearance…

In this world there is a cause and effect relationship between what we do and who we are perceived to be. As humans we think our acceptance is based on our actions. In some ways, this is true. If we choose to buy designer clothing, we are perceived to be rich; if we choose not to go to certain parties, we are considered antisocial. All of us, to some degree or another, worry about what other people think.

Oftentimes, when we get caught up in how we are perceived it can be detrimental. When we start to make decisions based on what other people think or how they will treat us, we gain an unhealthy outlook. We start to lose confidence in ourselves and rely on others to build our identity. We also become unable to make decisions based on bare facts and wisdom. Instead, we count on other humans to make decisions for us.

Most of us wouldn’t think that we fall into the acceptance trap; we think we are true to ourselves. Yet this habit creeps in unexpectedly. Maybe it’s pleasing our parents; or trying to dance well when the director is looking; or maybe it’s choosing the decision that’s popular among that particular group of friends.

But the Lord looks at the heart…

The worst part is when we play the acceptance game with God. We think if I do this, I’ll be more spiritual or if I pray this, God will like it better. But the truth is, though people may care what we do, God doesn’t love us any more or less based on our actions. When we play the acceptance game with God, we are relying on ourselves to bring Him glory. In essence, we are actually robbing God of His glory.

To keep from getting caught in the acceptance trap, we need to take our eyes off of the world and focus on God. We need to rest in the fact that our identity is found in Him; we bring Him glory simply by being His child and following Him. He holds our future and no matter what others may think, it’s God’s opinion that matters.

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