You Don’t Need Someone’s Approval to Be Happy
“It does not matter! I am happy about it — just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy.” (Philippians 1:18 TEV)
You can be happy no matter what happens in your life if you don’t let others control your attitude.
In Philippians 1:15-17, Paul talks about four kinds of people who were affecting his ministry while he was in prison in Rome. There were some who he considered comrades and who encouraged him in his ministry. Others were criticizing, competing with, or conspiring against his ministry.
“Some of them preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome, but others from genuine good will. These do so from love, because they know that God has given me the work of defending the gospel. The others do not proclaim Christ sincerely, but from a spirit of selfish ambition; they think that they will make more trouble for me while I am in prison” (Philippians 1:15-17 TEV).
Few things rob your happiness faster than being criticized or feeling like others are working against you. Why? Because we all want to be loved. We all want approval. We want everybody to like us.
Yet Paul says in Philippians 1:18, “It does not matter! I am happy about it — just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy.”
You don’t need other people’s approval to be happy.
You’re as happy as you choose to be! If others are unhappy with you, that’s their choice. If you haven’t got someone’s approval now, you’re probably not going to get it. And you’re going to be miserable if you try to live for the approval of everybody else.
Paul later explains in verses 29 and 30 why you can be happy no matter what: “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it” (NLT).
Paul says it is a privilege to suffer when you’re doing the right thing because you’re most like Jesus when somebody’s nailing you to a cross and trying to get at you.
You can be happy no matter what happens if you look at every problem from God’s viewpoint and never let what other people say or do control your happiness.
Talk It Over
For whose approval have you been working? Why do you think you need that person’s approval?
Why is there more freedom in God’s approval than another person’s?
When you feel most attacked or criticized, how might God be working in you and through you?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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