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Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Don’t Need Someone’s Approval To Be Happy

In review of Philippians 1:18 it says, “It does not matter! I am happy about it — just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy.”

Bottom Line:
Paul didn’t let others control his attitude. People should be told the message about Christ. He was happy about this no matter how they found out (whether from honest or dishonest motives.)

What this means to me:
What matters is that people are told the message about Christ. I should be happy about that and be glad to continue in doing my part. When it comes to happiness, I can be happy no matter what happens in my life as long as I don’t let others control my attitude. In Philippians 1:15-17, Paul talks about four kinds of people who were affecting his ministry while he was in prison in Rome. There were some who he considered comrades and who encouraged him in his ministry. Others were criticizing, competing with, or conspiring against his ministry. “Some of them preach Christ because they are jealous and quarrelsome, but others from genuine good will. These do so from love, because they know that God has given me the work of defending the gospel. The others do not proclaim Christ sincerely, but from a spirit of selfish ambition; they think that they will make more trouble for me while I am in prison” (Philippians 1:15-17 TEV). Few things can rob my happiness faster than being criticized or feeling like others are working against me. Mainly because I want to be loved and approved of. Generally, I want everybody to like me. Yet Paul says in Philippians 1:18, “It does not matter! I am happy about it — just so Christ is preached in every way possible, whether from wrong or right motives. And I will continue to be happy.” I don’t need other people’s approval to be happy. I’ll be as happy as I choose to be! If others are unhappy with me, that’s their choice. If I don’t have someone’s approval now, I’ll probably never get it. And I’ll be miserable if I try to live for the approval of everybody else. Paul later explains in verses 29 and 30 why you can be happy no matter what: “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it” (NLT). Paul says it is a privilege to suffer when I’m doing the right thing because I’m most like Jesus when somebody’s nailing me to a cross and trying to get at me. I can be happy no matter what happens if I look at every problem from God’s viewpoint and never let what other people say or do control my happiness. So today, I must reflect on who I may have been working on receiving approval from and why. Also, next time I’m feeling attacked or criticized, I should consider how might God be working in and through me. In summary, I don’t need someone’s approval to be happy.

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