Approval & Money

Dr. Seuss

“Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.”
Dr. Seuss (The Cat in the Hat)
How many times am I like the Cat in the Hat? Yesterday I sensed it as the words came out of my mouth. “You should’ve seen me at boot camp today!” Before I could continue, I stopped. Listened to my own words. All about me. Look at me. I am special. Please notice.
Later, I explained my involvement in the Lausanne Congress to a friend. Although I said I was humbled to be selected to be a part of the event, what I really wanted the person to know was that I had been selected. Ew.
I don’t want to be the Cat in the Hat, putting on a show for everyone to watch. I don’t want to be narcissistic. I don’t like me when I’m that way. Because in losing me, I find me. In letting go of the need to be recognized and heralded, I find peace.
So why do I grab at it? Most likely insecurity. I don’t yet feel fully loved by God. I don’t yet understand His complete acceptance. I can write words that sound like I do, but in reality, those moments are fleeting.
And in my writing career/ministry, I’ve been deeply discouraged. From the outside it may seem strange that I struggle in this way, what with nine books released. It boils down to simple economics. I work very hard, then get discouraged when my hard work doesn’t seem to merit financial remuneration. That’s discouraging.
Yet, in the midst of that, God keeps sending me mountains of encouragement–the very words I long to hear and read. He has truly, deeply confirmed my calling to write and speak, on every possible level (except financially).
Here’s where I’m wonky (and there are many places in me that are wonky): I equate my worth with either praise or money for something I’ve done.
And yet, Jesus loves me. Oh to truly only need His love, to not need to preen for approval or pine for money.
Jesus, set me free. Help me. Forgive me. Set me in a new place where I understand my worth based on You. With tears in my eyes, I plead that You would burn my calling deep inside and speak life into my tired heart. Help me to live for the Audience of One. Amen.

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