Faith, Personal Growth

Day 19: Turn Down the Volume on Approval

Our middle "turning down the volume" from our balcony at St. Simons Island.
Our middle “turning down the volume” from our balcony at St. Simons Island.

Shrill. Joyous. Shouts of triumph. Exclamations of affirmation. In massive volume.

“Way to go!”
“You saved us!”
“You are our champion!”

King Saul knew. They were all for him.

Every syllable and inflection pelleted his heart like a encouraging pat
on the back. He sat up straighter, more kingly. His validation and worth rose up with the cheers from the people down the road.

Consonants and vowels were slowly coming into hearing range like a mirage of water in a steamy desert.

“Saul Saul Saul! Has slain his thousands…”

Oh yes I had, puffed Saul in his heart. I am a champion.

They continued,

“…and David his TENS OF THOUSANDS. ”

Say what? Surely his ears didn’t hear that correctly. But upon the repeat, he heard it again. This time louder. They were praising… David! That realization burned holes within his gut.

“Saul was very angry. This cheer galled him. And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.1 Samuel 18:8-9

Mistaken identity #1:
By what others think of me, I am what I am.

Here’s the ugly…
I want you to say I look cute in my new jeans. Because then I know I am cute and I have to be cute because that’s who I am.
I want you to tell me what a great job I did teaching or organizing or leading. Because then I know I’m competent and I have or be competent because that’s who I am.

I put myself out there. Wait for your response. I take your response or lack of response to define me- tell me who I am. And who I say I am determines the life I live.

1. Next time you feel jealously creep up on you like goosebumps, ask yourself, Am I drawing who I am by something other than God’s love for me?
2. When you are spinning in emotional frenzy for the approval of others, step back. Turn down the volume. Gaze out onto the ocean-lined sunset. Remind yourself, God loves me. He loves me. And He’s smarter than you all.

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This post is a part of a 31 day series. Find other 31 Dayers at The Nester’s.

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