For many of my teenage and young adult years, I found myself pondering upon the following questions for significant lengths of time.
Are my parents proud of me? Do my siblings look up to me? Do my old classmates perceive me as succesful? Do my current friends respect me? Do my mentors think I have what it takes? Do my peers take me seriously? Does my boss value me? Do my teachers believe in me?
The reason I spent so much time thinking about these things? Insecurity.
I was so unconfident in my abilities. I was so unsure of my calling. I was so uncomfortable with my lack of experience.
As a result of my insecurities, I found myself constantly trying to prove myself. To my friends. To my family members. To everyone.
Though I would have never admitted it, most of the motivation for doing the things I did came from my desire to gain the acceptance and approval of those around me.
And if you’ve ever been heavily motivated by the desire for affirmation from others, you know, it’s elusive and exhausting.
And then, I discovered the gospel.
More specifically, 2 Corinthians 5:21:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, His righteous record is my righteous record. His sinless life is my sinless life. His perfect performance is my perfect performance.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, his complete fulfillment of the righteous requirements of the law is credited to me!
This means, through my faith in Jesus Christ, I stand eternally justified before Almighty God. Eternally approved. Eternally accepted. Eternally affirmed.
There is no amount of good that I could do to make God love me any more and no amount of bad that I could do to make God love me any less!
When this all finally clicked, and I fully received the truth that Christ’s righteousness was my righteousness, insecurity no longer had any place in my life.
When you know that the God of the universe accepts you, the affirmation and approval of everyone else really becomes a non-issue. And when your need to be accepted by others is put to death, true confidence can come to life.