Naturally, to some extent, people like to be approved of. People like to be liked and have nice things said about them. This inclination is not without a reason or a cause. We live in a society where the more people like us, the more chances of success we will have. Opportunities are all over the place but in order to land opportunities, you will have to find favor in the eyes of particular persons. No job, award or achievement is just out there for you to take with both hands. It requires recommendation, reference, nomination, voting, electing and appointing by people. This and more are the reasons why people seek approval of other people, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Seeking people’s approval is not a bad thing in itself provided you do not lose yourself in the pursuit of it. It is also important that you do not go extreme on the whole validation and approval seeking spree. It could be for a good cause that someone would seek validation from another human being. Maybe the person wants to show his or herself qualified for a particular role but when it takes a negative turn is the moment it becomes too much. For example, when you wait for people to give you labels, put a price tag on your worth or to generally define you based on their various standards. It is a sign of poor self esteem that you turn out to become a people pleaser. It will make people take you for granted and not respect you. This is often seen with seemingly powerful figures of society, such as celebrities, heads of companies, high salary earners and business owners. These people may just belong to high society and because of their status, you may be tempted to give them so much regard at the expense of your own dignity.
In cases like this, when we meet people that inspire us, our mentors and role models, let us remember that these people are human beings like us. They are used to preferential treatment, they are used to people humiliating themselves all in the name of trying to impress them. How about people who do not believe in God? People who might be troublesome and threaten you with all manner of things? Whether they are influential or involved in evil practices, are we supposed to be afraid of them? No! The persons who see themselves as almighty always have wealth, power and fame in their hands. They are used to people trying to impress them, get something from them or do something for them. Outright, preferential treatment. I am not saying you should not give some people credit for their useful contribution to society. What I am saying is, the moment you begin to esteem these people above God, it becomes sinful. The person you should respect most is God and the person whose approval you should seek the most is God’s. If nobody likes you and everyone says bad things about you, you should not be worried if your heavenly Father is on your side.
That being said, whose approval should you seek the most? Whose opinion should matter most to you? Who should you try so hard to impress and who should you seek validation from? No one else but God.
Romans 8: 31 – ” What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
When people try to oppress us, try to hurt us, try to define us or try to intimidate us, we should always remember that God is our Father and He is the greatest. He is the most powerful. He is God and no man can stand against Him. No one can hurt us because we belong to Him. When people try to put us down and tell us that we have no one, that we have no money or that we are nobody, don’t be sad or hurt about it. All you have to do is pray. Talk to God, He can hear you. Pour your heart out to your heavenly Father, tell Him how it hurts. It doesn’t matter if you cry, your tears are precious to Him.
Psalms 56:8-9 : “You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle—are they not in Your book? Then shall my enemies turn back in the day that I cry out; this I know, for God is for me.”
God has got your back, He loves you. You don’t need to worry about having all the money in the world, or about knowing some popular, rich people or being in high power positions. Someone who has God has Someone more enough than anything or anyone in this world. Who should you regard more? God or man? I would say God because He has got the power to use any man for any purpose. He can stir the heart of men like a river, in whichever way He pleases. He can harden or soften the human heart. He can cause a man to think or behave in anyway He wants. That is God for you. He is the one you should regard more.
When you regard God more than anything in this world, it dignifies you and raises you to another level. It will command respect for you from other people and make you charismatic. It will also flip the coin on the big people and they will become the ones trying to impress you with their money, power or fame. It will make you very attractive because people will perceive the confidence you have in God, it will exude a majestic aura all around you. You should not however, regard God primarily because of its many benefits. You should regard God because you honor Him, have reverence for Him and love Him. That way, your motive will be pure and not self seeking.
Regarding God more than man will help you to fear no one but respect everyone by virtue of their being human. You will not have respect for a particular set of people only but for everyone. It will also help you to be impartial in your relations with people and judge justly without favoritism.