By Bill Crowder
We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4
Read: 1 Thessalonians 2:1–4
Biblein a Year: Ezekiel 20–21; James 5
When the legendary composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) was young, a hunger for approval drove him toward success. Warren Wiersbe wrote of him: “When Verdi produced his first opera in Florence, the composer stood by himself in the shadows and kept his eye on the face of one man in the audience—the great Rossini. It mattered not to Verdi whether the people in the hall were cheering him or jeering him; all he wanted was a smile of approval from the master musician.”
Whose approval do we seek? A parent’s? A boss’s? A love interest’s? For Paul, there was but one answer. He wrote, “We speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
What does it mean to seek God’s approval? At the very least, it involves two things: turning from the desire for the applause of others and allowing His Spirit to make us more like Christ—the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. As we yield to His perfect purposes in us and through us, we can anticipate a day when we will experience the smile of His approval—the approval of the One who matters most.
Whose approval do you find yourself seeking and why is their validation so important to you? How could God’s approval satisfy even more deeply?
Father, it’s far too easy to seek the applause of those around me and to desire their praise. Help me to lift my eyes to You, the One who knows me best and loves me most.
Good morning and have a lovely week