APPROVAL FROM THE WORLDHonestly, taking a look at my own life I've found many areas that I give, only to receive something in return. I look for approval from the world. I desire "applause" for the things I do. No matter how great we appear or how much recognition we receive, it never will suffice for our true heart's intent.
I hate to admit this, but I am a people pleaser. I believe a lot of us are. We want to feel accepted and wanted. We want to fit in. We want others to like us. When other people like us we feel better about ourselves. When we feel better about ourselves we feel happy. Even though at times this "happiness" may bring some temporary satisfaction, it often results in a downward spiral to discouragement. When we base our contentment and joy on something that is fleeting and fluctuating it is hard to remain steadfast in our view of ourselves.
When we live for the world's applause we are performing for the wrong crowd. We may get a standing ovation or we may be "booed" off the stage, but no matter the result we aren't defined by our performance. God sees our true intentions and we don't have to pretend or put on an act for Him. We are loved just as we are. No masks. No pretending. No disguising. We are loved just as we are.
HINDERED BY FEARI get so timid when it comes to being myself because I'm afraid that others won't like who I am inside. I hide my thoughts and ideas because I'm afraid they aren't worthy or insightful. I remain quiet because I feel less vulnerable when I don't express myself. Even worse, I do this with my faith as well. I become so disappointed with myself sometimes for my lack of transparency with the world. I want to be me, but sometimes I just feel like I'm tied back by my fear.
Satan is a great pawn in our performance act. He distracts us and gets our mind focused on people instead of the actual purpose of why we're here. He leads us into a way of thinking that gets us so fearful of what others "could" do that we ignore the idea all-together of stepping out and overcoming our fear. We let fear be the main hindrance that holds us back, instead of reminding ourselves that a rejection from the world is so insignificant in comparison to a "well done" from God.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVEWe don't have to get applause for the work we do here, because God will reward those who follow after Him when we reach our eternal home. We may not get recognition here, but one day all things will be made known. The unseen will be seen. Nothing will go unnoticed.
You may feel like everyone around you is receiving applause in comparison to your behind the scenes life, but just remember that God sees the hidden acts of kindness we do for Him. He sees the willing heart that is trying when everyone else seems to be receiving recognition. He honors those who serve Him even when they don't receive anything in return. I believe that is what true love is. Giving with no expectation of anything in return.
Choose to live a life that is not living only for applause. Live a life that is living for a cause. A cause much higher than the common everyday tasks. A cause to show God's love to others. Maybe just a kind act. Serving others and letting your actions speak louder than your words ever could. Don't give up when you feel invisible. Let your life be your voice. Live for a cause, not for applause!
2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Note: I am hoping to publish a new study within the next few weeks entitled "Flawed." Basically it's a study on feeling invisible, less than and insignificant. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you all soon!