The approval of God
We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you... But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 2 Corinthians 10:12,13; 17,18 What determines our self-worth? It is human nature that causes us to seek approval for our actions. As children, we longed for the approval of our parents. As we grew older, we also valued the opinions of our friends, colleagues, and employers. At times, the admiration of others can claim such importance that it becomes our way to measure our worth as a person. The apostle Paul was very much criticized because of his looks and the way he spoke. There were those that criticized him because of his harsh words in his letters. “For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing” (2 Corinthians 10:10). In his response to his detractors, he told them from the text that he was not after the approval of men. In fact, his approval comes from the one whom he serves and takes orders from. “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer” (2 Timothy 2:4). It was important for him to please God rather than men. The Lord Jesus Christ told those who seek to gain the approvals of others have already received their rewards. “I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get” (Matthew 6:2). For Paul, the measure should be based on the faithfulness to the gospel’s message (Galatians 6:14), conformity to Christ’s character (Philippians 3:3), and fellowshipping in the suffering of Christ (Philippians 3:10). Getting the approval of men was nothing compared to knowing Christ. “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3:7-8). In heaven, there will be no self-congratulation only divine exaltation. In the end, what will matter is God’s approval. “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; ...Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21).
Noel De Guzman