The Approval Addiction

Mark Lee NewBy Pastor Mark Lee
Last month, a satirical video of Ben Affleck created a buzz when it was posted online. The short clip spotlighting the Batman vs. Superman star’s melancholic response to his movie’s negative reviews quickly went viral. Millions of viewers were drawn to “Sad Ben Affleck” because it comically combines images of the actor’s downtrodden expression with the sorrowful strains of a popular song. Of course, the video’s appeal also stems from the fact that everyone understands the disappointment that comes with disapproval.
The disease to please infects us all. Whether you are a mother cooking a meal, an employee preparing a report, or a pastor preaching a sermon, everyone enjoys receiving positive feedback. In the same vein, it can be extremely disheartening to invest your time and effort into something only to receive less-than-stellar reviews (Right, Ben Affleck?) While the need for approval can drive us to accomplish great things, it can also have negative results. Anxiety, fear of failure, avoidance, and exhaustion can occur when we work hard to please others.
An acquaintance recently explained her absence from social media by stating, “I realized I was looking for approval in all the wrong places.” This statement is universally true. In our quest to receive “likes” from the world, we often fail to question whether our actions would be pleasing to God.
2 Timothy 2:15 instructs, you must “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Doing so may not turn Batman’s frown upside down, but it could sure help me!