I’ve started writing this post about five times.
Often I will come up with titles, schedule the post, and let thoughts sit a while before writing.
So when I say I’ve started this post several times, I mean it’s been on the docket for a while and I haven’t found the words to say to make it right.
Whose praise do I seek? What is the ultimate motivation for my actions? Do I focus on my need for social approval? Am I motivated by the expectations a friend has of me? Do I rely (still) on parental approval? Do all of my actions go through the filter of “what does the girl I like want me to do?”
Or are my motivations something else? Are my motivations intrinsic? Are they extrinsic? Do I look to another source for praise and approval?
Where should I look? Most people believe the ideal is to look within and only seek your own approval. I take issue with that.
I recognize my vision is extremely limited. By assuming my intrinsic approval is all I need, I assume the that myopic vision I have of my capabilities is perfect sight.
It is not. I strongly agree my actions and choices must align with my core values. However, i must look for approval and praise from a source who has greater vision and wider perspective than I have.
I must look to God for praise. I must continually seek His approval. Through many years of effort and learning, I have aligned my core values with Father’s will.
So as I tread the path I am on, forks in my road will come. Occasionally my desires and wants (for career stability, a caring woman, few struggles, etc.) are not met. My initial reaction is to mentally rebel and complain. However, although I need a modicum of my own praise and approval–it’s required for mental stability–the praise I seek is that of Father.
Father knows my skills, He knows my capabilities, He knows my intentions. Because He knows what I am able to do, He is the best guide for my life. I may not immediately need or be prepared for the things I don’t yet have.
He knows the ideal path for me. He will let me choose where I go, but He also judges me along that ideal path. He is Good. And in being Good, all things He gives are good and are best for my growth. Many are hard. (Most?) But they force me to grow beyond what I believed I could.
In my heart, all I want is to please Him. Because in pleasing Him, I will gain everything i desire that truly matters: To be like Him in every way.