In "Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone," best-selling author Joyce Meyer takes on a topic that plagues many people -- the need for constant affirmation from others. Meyer says this unhealthy insecurity can ruin relationships and even turn into an addiction. Her answer is to find security in God.
You can read an excerpt from "Approval Addiction" below.
The first step in understanding an out-of-balance need for approval is to understand fear. The variety of fears people deal with is endless, but an important one I discovered in my own life -- and one you may be dealing with yourself -- is the fear of not being pleasing to God. If you have been hurt and wounded by people who were difficult or even impossible to please, you may think God is the same way. He isn't! It is not as difficult to please God as we may think it is. Simple, childlike faith pleases Him. He already knows we will not behave perfectly all the time. That is why He sent Jesus to pay for our failures and mistakes.
As I said in the Introduction, I struggled and suffered in frustration many years trying to please God with good, or even perfect, behavior. At the same time I was always fearful I was failing. It seemed no matter what I did right, I always saw something I was doing wrong. I never felt good enough; no matter what I did, I always felt as if I needed to do more. I felt God was displeased with me, and even though that was not accurate, it was true for me because I believed it. I was deceived!
There is a possibility you, too, have been deceived. To be deceived means to believe a lie. Many people are trapped in bondage that makes them miserable simply because they have wrong belief systems. It is very possible you believe some things with all your heart, yet those things are not true at all. I once believed my future would always be affected by my past, but then I learned through God's Word that what I believed was not true at all.
We can let go of what lies behind, be totally forgiven for all our wrongdoing, and enjoy the awesome future God had planned for us since before the beginning of time.
'What Must I Do to Please God?'
There are two main things I believe we must do to please God. Number one is to have faith in Jesus, and number two is to desire to please Him with all our heart. It is important to understand that we cannot have one without the other. The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God (See Hebrews 11:6).
In John 6:28-29 we read about some people who asked Jesus:
What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?]
Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you; that you believe in the One Whom He has sent.
So you see God is pleased when we believe in His Son Jesus, and He is not pleased when we don't. We might do numerous good and benevolent works, yet if we have no faith in Jesus, God is still not pleased with us. But if we believe and trust in God, we enter His rest according to Hebrews 4; we feel at ease and comfortable rather than fearful and anxious about life.