” Imitate God in everything you do, because you are his dear child. Live a life of love, following the example of Christ.”
I have often wondered what it would e like to have an older brother to look after me. Maybe I would want to desperately have his approval. Most likely I would have done anything to get his attention. As I observe the little sisters in our home I see what joy they have in knowing their big brother(s) notice them. I have also observed what devastating lengths the girls are prone to go in an effort to gain what they seek.
Recently one of the sisters was really having to wrestle with this need to gain approval. In order to gain the attention she hungered for there were compromises made and boundaries knowingly crossed. As a mother this alarmed me, as a Christian it peaked my curiosity. As I prayed through things this thought came to mind:
God did not create you to be like _______, he created you to be like Christ.
As we seek approval, acceptance and attention, so we focus our efforts in a sometimes worldly direction. So who holds the place of ‘approver’ in your life? A sibling, parent, spouse or child? A boss or co-worker, or giver of accolades? As we seek to gain their approval we are choosing behaviors that reflect what they value, and not all of these behaviors are pleasing to God.
In the end I do have a big brother, the first in this new way of following the LORD, his name is Jesus and he is the Christ. If I am focusing on Christ’s example then all I do in, an effort to gain his attention alone, will be nothing short of exactly who God desires for me to be like.