For they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. John 12:43 (NASB)
I just made the decision not to view the stats identifying the number of reader clicks on my blog. I’m no longer repeatedly checking in. I’ve stopped until God says to check. I have no idea if God will give me permission to check again in a week, month, year, or ever.
If you’re wondering why I needed to stop, I’ll tell you. When I look to others for my significance, approval, and validation, they become my source of security. Determining my value by the opinions of others is not only risky, it’s a train wreck waiting to happen. This mentality dooms me to living a life of addiction. One needed approval “fix” leads to another and another until my attempts to fill my insecurity with substitutes eventually consumes me.
Until I discover my identity and significance is in God, I literally worship the approval of others. Life as an approval addict breaks the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3) There is no biblical support in allowing others to become our source of identity or security.
If God is the source of our life as stated in Genesis 2:7…”The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being,” then He is also the source of our identity and security. Since God further states, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved (meaning Jesus),” then the approval of others is a competitor, really a false god, that we allow to replace Christ’s acceptance.
As Sampson needed to kick the harlot out of his bed, even so, I need to kick this approval addiction harlot out of my mind and heart. As addictive behavior occurs little by little, day by day, until patterns become lifestyle habits, I’m beginning daily rehabilitation therapy. I don’t blindly believe that my deliverance will happen in a day, but today my first step in breaking free is refusing to check my number of reader clicks. I’ve decided that instead of working for the approval of others, I’m working for God and that my writing needs to stir from what He gives me and that’s what I’m giving back to Him. Readership needs to become an irrelevant factor in determining my value, significance, or success.
Realizing that no one’s cured in a day, it’s certain that I’ll be writing more about my rehabilitation therapy. Since addictions are commonly experienced by many, but few openly announce their addiction, anyone seeking to break their addiction is welcome to read along. Knowing someone else is pursuing freedom may make you feel less lonely on your freedom journey.
Just understand that, if you chose to travel with me on my blog, I won’t be checking in to see how many are traveling with me. Instead, I’ll be checking in daily with the One who when He breathed life into me, also breathed in my identity which is held secure and protected by His Son.