John 12:43b “…for they loved the approval of men rather than the
approval of God”.
Seeking Approval from….
He had been waiting his entire career for this one moment.
With just four seconds left-his team trailing by six points in the
championship game, Steven caught the quarterback’s perfectly placed pass
and sprinted down the sideline. Seventy thousand fans erupted, raucously
cheering for Steven as he crossed mid-field and headed for the end zone.
He was the center of attention, and, with just thirty yards left
to sprint, Steven seemed destined to be a hero-his name plastered across
the newspaper and television for weeks to come.
Yet, amidst all the screams of approval, Steven failed to notice
the defensive back closing in. Before he could protect the ball, he was
suddenly thrown to the ground, jarring the ball loose moments before his
knee struck the turf. The defensive back quickly recovered Steven’s
fumble and ran out-of-bounds.
The game was over.
As Steven, stunned and disoriented, lay face down on the turf,
he quietly listened as the stadium full of fans incessantly booed him.
Seventy thousand cheers had instantly turned to seventy thousand jeers.
He felt completely alone, utterly rejected.
In a society of fickle opinions, we often place too much weight
on the judgment of others, forgetting that our relationship with God is
our only constant source of stability.
Even in biblical times, certain rulers-who were believers that
had direct proof of Jesus’ miracles and existence-publicly rejected
Christ and adhered to social tradition and legalistic rules instead.
They clearly “loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God”
(John 12:43). For fear that they would be cast out of the synagogue and
disowned by the Pharisees, these rulers chose social acceptance over the
approval of almighty God, even as Christ Himself stood before them.
When we seek other people’s approval, what is our limit? How
much of our own conscience are we willing to sacrifice in order to gain
In James it says, “Our lives are just a vapor that appears for a
little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). How much of this
precious time are we willing to spend at the mercy of the ever-changing
opinions of those around us? When our lives are complete and we stand
before God’s throne, will we really care about the opinions of others?
In trying to please one person here and another person there, we
will eventually lose our focus on what is important to God. And isn’t
that what is important to focus on? Our lives are a gift from God. We
exist to glorify and represent Him, not to receive the glory for
Have you fallen prey to the social game of acceptance? If so,
it’s a game you’ll never win. God approves of you so much that He sent
His Son to die an excruciating death for you.
That’s all the approval we need.
John 12:42-43 “The rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees
they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the
synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval