Life changing is what sums up Approval Addiction by Joyce Meyer.
How I made it in life or functioned thus far without it, I don’t know.
Well when this book first came out in 2005, I knew I had to run out and get it immediately.
As I began to read it, the painful realization of the empty things I’ve chased after was just simply overwhelming.
But I wasn’t at a place where I was ready to face that kind of giant.
Or more probable, wasn't ready to let it go.
I needed them, their approval that is.
It gave me the temporary “fix” I had grown accustomed to all these years.
I laid the book down for these last few years and decided to pick it up again.
*That is where the life-changing part takes place.
Now the toll abuse can have on individual is like the under current that runs in a river. All is well on the surface but deep down it is fast and furious.
Unfortunately, for many of us, we may not see the grand scale of effects until sometime down the road.
Similar to the river, as you get further down the stream it picks up speed and pretty soon you’re facing a water fall.
Joyce Meyer has been very open about her past as a victim of abuse. She states, “Those who have been hurt badly through abuse or severe rejection often seek the approval of others to try to overcome their feelings of rejection and low self-esteem. They suffer from those feelings and use the addiction of approval to try to remove the pain.” She adds that, “An addiction is something that controls people - something they feel they cannot do without or something they do to alleviate pain or pressure.”
When we think of the word “addiction,” drugs or alcohol may come to mind. But in fact, there are many varieties of addictions out there, such as gambling, sex, shopping, eating, work, as well as different forms of substance abuse. She includes approval, to gain a sense of well being, in the same category as these other addictions
Joyce wants us to see the bigger picture of acceptance.
A new set of specs, so to speak.
We may have been looking through clouded glass.
It’s time to get the Windex out and do a thorough cleaning.
As I read through this book I began to notice my countenance changing. All my life I sought out the approval of others and only saw my self worth in what I could do, if others were pleased with my “doing."
She says, “God wants you to press on past your past, refuse to give up, you are not a failure, God sees your worth no matter what, choose a new attitude for yourself and the like.”
Chapters such as, We can’t please all the people all the time, Bondage or Freedom, Do it afraid, and The fear of rejection, spoke volumes to my heart, loosening the chains that bound me.
Joyce came to a place in her life where she finally decided, “If Jesus loved me enough to die for me, the very least I could do was stop hating and rejecting myself.” I decided to make the same declaration.
I was beginning to let go, like sand running through my fingers, gladly letting it slip away.
Some time ago, I took my son to hear Gerda Weissmann Klein. She is a renowned author, world wide speaker and Holocaust survivor. She spoke of the tragedy that occurred in WWII and also the resiliency of the human spirit. She spoke proudly of her husband, the solider who liberated her. On his death bed he told her that “her pain should not be wasted, it should be shared." He continued, "If you alleviate someone else’s pain, you heal yourself.”
Joyce shares something similar, “There is no way to get through life without experiencing pain. But it does not have to be wasted.”
“Whatever happened to us in the past may not have been good in and of itself, it led us to where we are today, but because God is good, He can take a very difficult and painful thing and cause it to work out for our good and the good of others.”
The success story of others can be your success story too.
That’s what I’m choosing today.
Give yourself a break when it doesn’t happen over night.
“All healing is a process that takes time, especially emotional healing. It is not easy. Sometimes it is quite painful. Sometimes people have wounds that are still infected. Spending time with God in His Word and in His presence are the two main ingredients to being healed after being hurt.”
Such good news for those of us that don't see results overnight. Myself included. I'm still working on me and am so glad God hasn't given up on me. And He hasn't given up on you either!
Do any of you struggle with the need for other's approval? I'd love to hear your story. Let me know in the comments.
Love and Peace