Saturday, September 3, 2011

Compliments of the King

{By Hailey Sadler}

"You're very pretty."

I’ll admit it - they are nice words to hear. 
In my recent years, I’ve received compliments ranging from absurd to awkward to very sincere. But even some of the funnier ones, not to mention those that were sincerely sweet, have succeeded in making me feel special. Is that wrong? No …unless you come to rely too much on that affirmation for your sense of worth, that is. 

It is easy to fall into, particularly if you are in a relationship with someone but also if you are not. Why is that? Why do we hunger for and depend on affirmation from others so much?

Fabienne Harford published a piece, "Lonely, but Not Rejected," two weeks ago in Relevant, which I think answers that question [I recommend you read the whole article.] She says,
“The problem is that you and I are broken. We are insecure and afraid and we were created to have worth spoken into us by someone outside of ourselves. The thing is though, that Someone else isn’t a human being. There is no person on earth that should have the power to speak into us value or worth in such a way that it secures our identity.” 
Are you looking to someone who is not that Someone to speak value into you? If you are, you cannot be looking to God for your identity – in the same way that being in love with somebody means you wont be looking to start a relationship elsewhere. And He is the only one who can satisfy you. He is the only one who’s affirmation is constant, unchanging, undying, forever. This isn’t to say you can’t receive affirmation from others [of course you can, and it can be wonderful] but it means you cannot seek, as the primary source of your identity, both God and man. Fabienne Harford says it this way,
 “How can you possibly be satisfied by God when the attention of man adds to your value? How can you possibly be satisfied by God when you don’t seek your affirmation and identity in the only God? Why are you treating men like they have the power to give you value through their feeble words when that is a power that belongs to God alone? There is only one Person who can speak worth into you in such a way that it finally begins to fill that aching fear and insecurity.”
She goes on to talk about this topic in the context of singleness… the feelings of loneliness and perceived rejection. It’s true. If you do not have a boyfriend or husband saying sweet things to you, you have to look elsewhere for your affirmation. [Even if you do, a guy's, or even a best girlfriend's, validation of your value is not enough to fully and ultimately satisfy the craving of your heart.] Hopefully, instead of searching to receive it from a variety of different sources, you turn to The Source: the “God of all matter to tell you you matter,” to quote Brad Stein. It’s my opinion that, while obviously relationships are good and a gift from God, loneliness is also a gift; it is an important process of growing, a process of becoming sufficient unto yourself in God. Not in an independent, selfish way. Rather in a dependent way – completely dependent on Him with a capital "H" for your value and worth.  

What are your thoughts on the article and this topic? Has this ever been an issue for you?

1 comment:

  1. I have found that during the times I have not had many friends around me have been the times when I was most secure because my only friend was God! There is no more fulfilling affirmation than the affirmation that comes from my heavenly Father. When, I realize that I have been seeking and valuing others or the world's approval more than God's I am sad with myself for craving such futile approval. ~Sisi