The postal service delivers multiple offers in the mail each week for credit cards. Plastered across the front of the envelope are the words, "Pre-Approved!" Most of us just throw them away and are not fooled by that phrase that is intended to catch our eye and draw us in. We aren't suckered in by the marketing ploy and realize that everybody they send those out to is "pre-approved."
The funny thing is that we all are actually seeking approval. We look for it in our family relationships, our jobs, from people that we respect and even people we don't know that well. Constantly looking for ways to gain the positive affirmation of other people leaves us running through life like a lapdog who just wants to be called, "good girl/boy" and be scratched behind the ears.
We even impose the dynamics of the approval merry-go-round on our relationship with God. We believe the lie that we can be good enough for Him and that if we can maintain some level of righteousness that He will approve of us. We think that if we were pretty good in our choices and behavior this week that He loves us and if we had a "bad week" that He is disappointed and loves us less. We create human expectations for a supernatural relationship.
No wonder so many struggle with understanding the unconditional love that God has for us.
"As long as we view our deeds as a bridge to intimacy with and approval with God, we are depending upon our strength. God does not empower us to win His approval. We have all the approval we could ever need!" Andy Stanley, Louder Than Words