Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 ESV
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 ESV
Ginny was in a stall in the school locker room, changing her clothes after gym class. Her friends Ellie and Sarah were standing and talking outside the stall. They didn’t know Ginny was in the stall and could hear what they said. They started to talk about how bad her clothes were, and about how stupid she was in class when the teacher called on her, and about how they didn’t like her new hairstyle. Ginny felt as if her friends had punched her in the stomach when she heard these things. After they left, she started to cry, and slowly got her things together and went home. But when she told her mother, her mother reminded her that she had scolded Ginny and Ellie when they had said some pretty unkind things about Sarah the past weekend at a sleepover. She told Ginny not to worry too much. People sometimes like to say unkind things about others behind their backs, but they don’t always really mean it. It’s always good to be careful with your words, but it’s not a good idea to worry too much about what other people say.
It’s hard when we overhear or hear about people saying mean things about us, because we want everyone to like us. We want others to approve of us, but that doesn’t always happen. Other people are really more interested in what we think of them than of what they think of us. And sometimes if we want other people to approve of us, it might mean doing things that aren’t right, or it might mean we have to act in a way that we don’t really enjoy acting. We might feel we should dress or talk in a certain way, or pretend to be interested in things we really don’t care about. It’s really not worth caring too much about what other people think or what they say behind our back.
The only one whose approval we really need is God’s approval. But to get God to like us and think we’re good, we’d have to be completely perfect all the time, and that’s not possible. On our own, we could never win God’s approval. But God loves us very much and wants us to be his people, so he sent Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus lived the perfect life that we could never live for us, and he died to pay for our sins on the cross. When God looks at us, he sees Jesus’ life and death for us, and for Jesus’ sake he approves of us completely. When we know that God loves and approves of us, we don’t have to worry so much about what others think and say.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for approving of us and loving us for Jesus’ sake. In His Name, Amen.