Seeking Approval

Today I sat down to spend some time with the Lord and was wrecked by the last verse in the chapter. God really saved the punch line this time. Isaiah 2:22 says, ” Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath for of what account is he?” Preceding this verse was a lengthy explanation on how man will hide in the caves because his sin is so great and God’s wrath is fierce and how man is constantly chasing pride and exaltation but there is a day coming where he will be humbled in the blink of an eye.

Why do I fight so hard for man’s approval? Why do I care? Just moments before I was looking at my last instagram post wondering if it didn’t get as many likes as normal because I posted it late at night. Really? Is that what life has come down to – analyzing our likes on instagram? Do we really derive our worth and value from a social media post? Unfortunately, we do. How often do we do something not for the experience but for a good instagram post? I know I’ve been guilty of this. There’ve been times where I haven’t even been fully present in an experience – soaking up nature, hanging out with friends, listening to music, whatever it may be, because I was so worried about capturing the moment so I could later post it.

This past weekend my family went with another family to Ohio. We spent more time outside than inside and it was really just a good time to soak up the outdoors. Throughout the course of 72 hours I think I had my phone for maybe 5 hours. I didn’t bring it kayaking, biking, or hiking. I didn’t take pictures of the incredibly cool places we saw – instead I just drank in the moments. I took mental pictures. I enjoyed the time and space. This was such a freeing time for me.

Now if only I could master not caring about what others think. When you read Isaiah 2, it makes it so clear that other’s opinions shouldn’t matter. Honestly, it’s ludicrous that I would lose any sleep worrying about another’s opinion of my appearance, my style, my life choices. For one, man is so focused on self-prospering that he/she is utterly unaware of me or my life choices. For those who are judging my decisions or sizing me up, I can remember that man is but a speck in the eyes of the Lord and man is selfish and ignorant and prideful. And what does man give us? Nothing. Man is broken. Man is selfish. Man destroys, but God,  Oh God is wonderful and mighty. He sets fear in the hearts of man. He’s radiant and beautiful. He creates beautiful things. He is above all and in all, and He chooses to love us with a love unfathomable and unconditional. God is who I should be wanting to impress. He alone can judge. He alone is worthy of my thoughts and time. Yet I yearn for the approval of my peers, and I long to fit in inside a world where I’m called to stand out and speak up. Signing up to follow Jesus. Choosing to die to self and live as Christ kind of killed all hopes to gain approval of man. It feels like I’ve lost a lot, but in all reality I’ve gained so much more. The devil tries his best to make us yearn for worldly standards, for man’s stamp of approval, but what account is man? Man is nothing compared to the Lord. Engrain that into me Lord. Press it upon my heart. Remind me daily.

“Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty…Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?”

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