The other morning at my favorite coffee hangout Mocha Monkey (do I get a free bottomless? I mentioned you again) I noticed a little boy and his father in the corner. The little boy was eating a muffin in a way only a little boy would. He would break the muffin into small pieces and using the fork he would launch them toward his mouth. I must admit when I first saw this happening I was sure the outcome would be ugly. This little boy had amazing aim, and patience. As his father read the newspaper in across the table the boy practiced. Finally confident in his new skill he called out “Watch me Daddy!”
The father put the paper aside for a moment and watched the boy as he fired three clean shots into his waiting mouth. His dad smiled and said “That’s amazing” and they he gave him a fist bump. The little boy beamed with pride. Dad went back to his paper and the boy picked up his muffin and ate the rest in 2 enormous bites, never taking the smile off his face.
The approval of your father, mean a lot to you when you are 4. It means a lot to me and I’m a few more than 4.
The other night at a Church Council meeting at my church I asked members of the council to think back to their earliest memory of striving for someones approval. Then I asked them who’s approval they were after. As they looked back in time they came up with clear answers, some said “My Mom,” some clearly pictured it being their Dad. As the conversation continued we realized there are lots of people over the years of whom we wanted their approved. I also struck me in that conversation just how different our approach might be to get the approval of Mom vs the approval of Dad, or of a sibling.
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Paul write to young Timothy and reminds him and us, just whose approval matters. For Paul it was clear through his ministry he sought the approval of Christ. To do the will of God was a single minded vision for Paul. How about you? Who’s approval do you most seek?
18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
2 Corinthians 10:18 (NIV)
There is a sign above my computer in my office as I type this that sums it all up:
You please God
it doesn’t matter who you displease.
You displease God
it doesn’t matter who you please.
I pray that today I can work not for the approval of men, but of my Father in Heaven. “Watch me Daddy!”