READ: 1 Thessalonians 2

THINK: Reread verses 3-8 from The Message translation, noting the word approval:

“God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas. We never used words to butter you up. No one knows that better than you. And God knows we never used words as a smoke screen to take advantage of you.

Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren’t aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did.”

It’s tempting to promote ourselves, to see ourselves more highly than we ought. If we examine ourselves honestly, we will have to admit that we are often trying to win the approval of the crowd.

Think back over the past week. What decisions did you make solely to look good in the eyes of others? What would it take for you to go through today without making decisions based on trying to make yourself look good? What would it take for you to live today for “only God approval”?

PRAY: Confess those recent circumstances when you were tempted to seek approval from other people. Ask God to help you be “free of error, mixed motives, [and] hidden agendas.” Ask him to help you focus your desire for acceptance and approval entirely on him.

LIVE: Before every decision, before every comment, ask yourself, What is my motive? Is it to get approval from the crowd or to get approval from God? Let these questions make you aware today of how – and why – you make decisions.

By: Eugene Peterson in Solo

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