My husband and I were watching America's Got Talent and I found myself inexplicably saddened by the number of people that were there to audition. So many people looking for their big break or a way to make a living doing what they love: showing people what they can do. Seeking and confidently looking forward to the approval of the audience and the judges, they put themselves on the altar of the stage to give their offering. Am I good enough at what I do? at who I am? Good enough to get applause and the privilege to enter the mouth of an even bigger dragon that knows no satisfaction...

I had the opportunity to show off my vocal talents for some baseball game people recently. They were trying to find people to sing the National Anthem at the games instead of just having recorded music. I practiced the difficult song and got overly psyched by watching past Nat'l Anthem performances online. I thought I would definitely be one of the more talented people that was there to sing. It became a competition even though there weren't enough singers there to fill the baseball game spots. They were going to take all of us anyway, but we were still comparing ourselves to one another. Look at what I can do... see how I bring something unique and special to this? I bet you'd never would have guessed that the voice you just heard could come out of an ordinary-looking person like me. I wonder who will be at the games? Maybe a talent scout will hear me and decide that I am worthy of an audience with someone they are connected with. You never know when your big break will come. If you don't get out there and sing, it may never happen...

It's all an illusion and I see that now. I may suffer from approval addiction or be a people pleaser, but God has shown me something eternally valuable right here and now in this dying place. I can't want the approval of man and also want the approval of God. One day there will come a time when I will be asked to perform a task that God would not approve of, by people who promise me approval. Will I be faithful to obey God amidst even the nods and atta-girls of an unfaithful people? Can I do something socially odd and risk being labeled and judged as "too religious" if it will please my Father?

Galatians 1:10 ... For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

John 14:23 ...for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Matthew 6:1-16 (Heavenly or earthly rewards?)

Let me tell you, it's scary to think that I would lose my reward in Heaven for the peanuts I could get here in this dying world. May I always find myself using my talents for His glory and may I seek only His approval for all that I do. Thank You, Father for saving me from losing my reward: Your approval. I love You.

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