You Only Need God's Approval
“It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” (1 Peter 4:16 NLT).
Never be embarrassed for standing for the truth and doing what’s right. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:16, “It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” (NLT).
Let me ask you some questions: Is an insult going to kill you? No. Is a putdown going to kill you? No. Is somebody calling you a name or labeling you because you’ve made a stand for Christ going to hurt you? No. Is some troll online who’s trying to bait you and drag you into an argument going to take you down? No. It’s not going to kill you.
You need to understand something that will liberate your life: You don’t need other people’s approval to be happy.
You may have been trying to get the approval of a certain person for many years. I hate to tell you, but if you haven’t gotten it by now, you’re not going to get it. The good news is you don’t need it! You don’t need anybody’s approval in order to be happy.
No matter what you do in life, somebody’s not going to like it. You can’t avoid disapproval. So, if you’re going to have people’s disapproval either way, you may as well have their disapproval for doing the right thing rather than the wrong thing.
This is important to remember as you face opposition. If other people’s opinions matter more to you than God’s opinion, then you’re going to crumble when those people attack you because of your faith in Jesus. But if you focus on God and what you know is right, then you can make a firm stand.
“Stand firm against [Satan], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are” (1 Peter 5:9 NLT).
Talk It Over
Think of a time when you could have stood up for Jesus Christ and what is right. How did your desire for approval affect your response?
Where can you find the encouragement you need to stand firm when people oppose your faith?
Why does it help to know that there are other believers who are also suffering for the sake of the Gospel?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.