The Identity Of The Anchored Man
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. — Galatians 1:10
So last time, we discovered that Paul is writing with this sharp tone. Which I bet had some shock value for those who were reading. But in this text, we learn the motivation behind the harsh tone. The "why" behind it. He states that it's because he cares more about the approval of God than the approval of man. But we shouldn't understand this as being uncaring. In fact, Paul is doing the most caring thing he can do. He cares more about the approval of God.
I believe most men have this vain appreciation for the approval of others. We don't publically state it, but we like the emotional lift we get from the approval, applause, and accolades of others. But we have to be careful because this process is addicting. If this repeats, the emotional bumps of approval can lead to addiction to pride. And if you become trained to need approval from others to maintain your identity, then any disapproval can lead to erratic behaviors and emotions.
Yet it's the way Paul ends this verse that captures my attention. He states that if he did this from the wrong motivation, "I [Paul] would not be a servant of Christ." Or said in the positive from a good and godly motivation — "I am a servant of Christ." This is something only a man with a very anchored identity would declare. This is the identity of a man anchored in the approval of Christ and not man. When a man finds his identity in God, everything else is rightly ordered, including his emotions, behaviors, and motivations. So this statement is not just a filler at the end. This is a declaration of his identity in Christ and nothing else. Thus man's approval or disapproval does not direct his life.
I wish we were all able to say this. But becoming a man anchored like Paul is not easy. It means learning to care less for the approval of the world and more about the approval of Christ. So today, take a step toward this. Find a place in your life where you might be seeking the approval of a boss, a spouse, a child, or a friend, and lay aside the need for that approval by anchoring your identity in Christ. Move from anchoring your life in the shifting sands of the approval of man to anchoring it in the unchanging person of Jesus Christ.
ASK THIS: Where are you getting a bump of approval from man and not Christ?
DO THIS: Don't anchor in the shifting sands of man.
PRAY THIS: God, help me move from anchoring my identity in man into the man — Jesus Christ.
PLAY THIS: Anchor
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