Should We Seek Approval?

In this video and the following transcript, I share some thoughts on whether we should seek approval:

The answer is yes and no, and it depends on whose approval we’re seeking. In Galatians 1:10 Paul says “if I were still trying to please men [which is to seek their approval] I would not be a servant of Christ.” If we go around trying to make everybody happy all the time and seeking people’s approval, then we’re not going to live happy and contented lives. We’re not going to live lives that are on target for Christ.

Should we seek God’s approval? The answer is yes. It’s kind of strange to say that. We can say, “Wait a minute. We can’t seek God’s approval. It is not by works of righteousness that we have done, but it’s according to His mercy He has saved us.” Yes, but at the same time, Scripture talks about pleasing God. In John 12:43, Jesus actually condemned the Pharisees because they were seeking the approval of men but not seeking the approval of the only God who is the true judge. We need to realize that we can live our lives in ways that please God or displease God.

So by all means, let’s be motivated by seeking approval—but not the approval of men or the approval of our culture—but the approval of God. After all, He’s the righteous judge. We will stand before His judgment seat, not before anyone else’s judgment seat, not before our own judgment seat.

In the end, other people’s opinions of us won’t matter. Our opinion of ourselves won’t matter. God’s opinion is not just an opinion. God’s opinion is truth. And He is the One we should seek to please.

Image credit: Krappweis via

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries