But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him. John 7:2-5
Jesus’ brothers did not believe in him! His own family didn’t think he was God’s anointed. This must have been very hard for Jesus.
I have faced this same temptation as Jesus did. I am sure you have too. How many times have you had a family member or friend you wanted to please pressure you to do something you didn’t want to do? We all have. How many times have we wanted to please others when we knew it wasn’t something we wanted to do? How hard it must have been for Jesus – the Messiah – to know his own brothers didn’t believe in him. How hard it must have been for Jesus to say no to their idea.
I want to be free from the approval of men. Jesus must have gotten his approval from somewhere else or he wouldn’t have been able to stand up to this pressure. I think one of the reasons Jesus had to get off alone by himself so many times is to get his approval from another source – His father. Always being in the presence of others tempts us to get our approval from them!
Can you imagine being free from the approval of man? It’s possible. Jesus demonstrated this many times. Do you struggle with this? Do you practice impression management?
If I share a story about something I think others will not approve of do I preface it with something like, “I don’t watch much TV, but the other night…Or I went to this event, which I never do, but it was good.” Wouldn’t it be nice to never worry about others and what they think of your activities? Wouldn’t it be nice to to never apologize for things like this? Wouldn’t it be nice to simply share what you watched, read, or did. It is possible! Jesus did it so we must be able too.
Have you ever done this impression management technique? You get back a test and it wasn’t great and you said something like, “Not bad …. considering I hardly studied for it.” I know I often add the last piece about not studying for it because I don’t want to look dumb to others. Why do I do this? I need to be free and secure in who I am or am not.
Much of what I say is an attempt to control the way others think of me. I want people to think I am more assertive, clever, gentle, successful, or whatever than they realize.
How do you get freedom from approval? Relax! Relax and be the person God made you to be. The confidence to do this will only come by spending alone time with Him and realizing He likes you! If He likes you then it is enough. If you don’t believe this spend more time in His presence. If we are living in the presence of others it means we need to spend more time in His. Spend enough time in His presence then it overshadows the presence of others.
Jesus was free from the need to create an impression that wasn’t true. This enabled him to speak the truth in love. This enabled him to be free from the chains of other’s opinions. What a place! Freedom from approval will make you feel like a 1000 pounds have been lifted off your shoulders. It is possible and I want to see the real you and you to see the real me! We will all enjoy life much more!
Here is to finding out who you really are!