Affirmation feels good. When you’re valued, heard, and elevated, it’s encouraging. It’s uplifting. It’s especially gratifying when you don’t expect it. When you’re aim is to serve, not please, others, without expectation of anything in return, affirmation is motivating.
This does raise the question of one’s motive. To serve or to please? That is the question.
Do you feel the allure of people-pleasing? Whose praise are you tempted to seek? Whose irrational disapproval are you tempted to appease?
Rather than seek approval from humans, seek true humility – a healthy, sober awareness of how small you are under God. True humility is acknowledging all your talents and possessions are on loan from God, for which He entrusts you as a steward. Seeking His approval for serving as a steward is the motive of true humility. Allow His glory to eclipse the people whose approval or rejection seem so large to you.
How does true humility happen in your life? It happens by letting the fruit of the Spirit grow inside you. Let the Spirit take hold of your thoughts, heart, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors.
True humility takes people-pleasing affirmation straight to God in a secret place, laying down any good thing you’ve done back at His feet in gratitude.
You are meant for greatness. You are designed to live a life of pleasing God, not people. Don’t take credit where credit is not due. Then you’ll get the grandest affirmation of all time, “Well done, good and faithful servant!“