Daily Reflection – 3/26/2020
Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life. “I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”( John 5:31-47)
Approval is the most fleeting commodity there is. It is true that we all seek it. It is nice to hear the compliments of others. And, with some, it is an absolute requirement for their day. Very few of us are indifferent to what other people think of us. If we meet with disapproval, we tend to think that there is something wrong with us. We sometimes measure our worth in relation to how others see us. Human approval can confirm us in our sense of self-worth. Human disapproval can undermine our sense of self-worth
I have lost count of the number of parishioners, over the years, who wanted to impress me so that I would then compliment them on their words or their actions. While I understood the need for that, it was difficult for me to render “the words” they wanted to hear.
So I would and have turned instead to talk about the one approval that matters – not yours or mine but the approval of God. Jesus tells us that specifically in today’s scripture. The more important question is not ‘What do others think?’ but ‘What does God think?’ ‘How does God see me?’.
Look at His life on earth. The very opposite of human approval is human rejection. Jesus experienced the ultimate in human rejection by being crucified. Yet, at the very moment when he had lost all human approval, he had the approval of God. God was faithful to him and raised him from the dead.
And perhaps you ask: “How do I win the approval of God?” The simple answer is by being Jesus. What? you say. I can’t be Jesus! But you can. Of all the works that Jesus performed, there was one that stood out above all. It was His humble and all-encompassing love. Jesus was genuine, honest and pure of heart. He exuded every virtue one could have. It was His ordinary actions of love, care, concern and teaching that won over many hearts first and foremost. His miracles were profound but His believers came and followed Him because of who He was.
You may not be able to perform miracles but you can act as a beacon if you allow the Heart and Love of our Father to shine through you in your daily actions. Even the smallest action of genuine love speaks volumes to others.
THAT is your call and mine. Yes, we will often fail but every time we succeed will speak volumes to those who know us and THAT is what winds the approval of God.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, grant me the grace to be real, genuine and sincere. Help me to become a pure instrument of Your Heart so that all my actions will give testimony to Your love.”
The Lord Jesus reveals to us the very mind and heart of God. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit he opens our ears so that we may hear his voice and he fills our hearts and minds with the love and knowledge of God. It is that love and transformation that sets us free from sin and grants us the promise of eternal life.
2 thoughts on “But Whose Approval Matters ?”
Hi can’t seem to hit your like button. Enjoyed this post. Previously asked about your background, got no answer. Have a blessed day, KR
Hi Ken: I am sorry but I missed earlier inquiry. I was ordained 40+ years ago as a permanent deacon in the Episcopal Church. I have served in 6 parishes in the U.S. and did missionary work in Central America for 7 years. Thanks for following the blog. I am always open to dialogue.