It was 6 years ago that I realized I had a deep need for approval. God exposed this through me doing “program” with a buddy of mine at a YL camp. When you do program you are in charge of all of the up front humor, as well as all of the singing, etc, that happens on stage in front of 300+ teenagers and adults. Until this experience I had no idea how much I cared about what other people thought. You could say I was in denial. This experience sent me into deep depression for a number of months, but it was through this that Jesus began the process of delivered me from this fear of approval and other fears.
Jesus says, “perfect love casts out fear.” What I have slowly realized the past 6 years is that addiction to approval only goes away when we realize that we are ultimately approved of by God. He is the one that has the final word on us and He has already given His stamp of approval. Once that truth begins to seep into our inner self, the other voices around us fade into the background. What’s so insidious about addiction to approval is that most of the time there are no real voices of others, or very few. It is instead what we are imagining that others are thinking that gets us down. Most of the time others are too worried about what we are thinking about them to be concerned about their thoughts about us.
The only cure for addiction to approval is to believe the truth today that we are loved. This is not an easy thing to do, especially if we are in the habit of believing the lie that we have to perform to receive love. Recovery from this addiction is a slow process of listening to the voice of God tell us the truth of who we are.