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Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Many books, articles, and blog posts have been written to inform people of the addictive nature and destructive impact of seeking the approval of others as well as some coaching on how to stop doing it. Most of them offer a cure that boils down to some variation on being more approving of yourself. In one such article, under the heading, “How to Let Go of the Need for Approval,” it offers: “1) Build a sense of self-acceptance; 2) Give yourself validation…”
Jesus was keenly aware of humanity’s tendency to seek praise from people – from one another – but the solutions He offers are radically different. Jesus instructs us to seek approval and validation, not from others (or ourselves) but from our Heavenly Father. Jesus focus here is not just on what we do but also why we do it.
In order to have a righteousness that surpasses that of the Pharisees (5:20), disciples will not cease to engage in doing just deeds which the Pharisees did, such as compassionate giving, prayer, and fasting, they will do the with entirely different motivations.