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Are You Living For The Approval of Man?

7 Signs You’re Living For The Approval of Man From John 7

Are you living for the approval of man instead of the approval of God? “Definitely not!” How do you know? “Maybe not.” Seems a little unsure. “Hopefully not.” Doesn’t sound so hopeful. How would you really know that you’re living for the approval of man, or not? What signs would you be looking for?

John 7 is saturated with people who were living for the approval of man – the brothers of Jesus, the crowds, and the religious leaders of the day. What we see surface through their interaction with Jesus and each other is at least seven signs that you could be living for the approval of man.

Sign #1: You Become Increasingly Focused On What Jesus Can Do For You

For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” (John 7:4 ESV)

Jesus’ brothers were more interested in what Jesus could do for them than what they could do for Jesus. They were more interested in using Jesus than following Jesus and being used by Him. Do you spend more time thinking about what Jesus can do for you or what you can do for Jesus?

Sign #2: You Become Increasingly Friendly With The World

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. (John 7:7 ESV)

The world did not hate the brothers of Jesus because although they were around Jesus and associated with Jesus, they had more affection for the world than for Jesus. Is your affection for the world increasing more than your affection for Jesus?

Sign #3: You Become Increasingly Focused On Your Agenda & Time Table

Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here ….. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” (John 7:6,8 ESV)

The brothers of Jesus had their own agenda for Jesus, and their own timetable for their agenda for Jesus. They wanted attention and authority, and they wanted it quickly. Do you have an agenda that you want Jesus to deliver on for you, and quickly?

Sign #4: You Become Increasingly Censored In Your Thoughts About Jesus

Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him. (John 7:13 ESV)

The crowds in Jesus’ day had their own thoughts about who He was, some good and some not so good. Either way, their thoughts were censored by their fear of the elite class of their day. Do you find yourself holding back too much about what you think about Jesus, and too often?

Sign #5: You Become Increasingly Focused On A Particular Pedigree

The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” (John 7:15 ESV)

The culture makers in Jesus’ day had their own particular pedigree – the right school, right books, right political party, etc. They were more concerned with the pedigree of man than the Paternity that comes from God. Are you increasingly concerned with the pedigree of man, and not the Paternity you have from God?

Sign #6: You Become Increasingly Distorted In Our Judgment

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” (John 7:24 ESV)

Because they were more concerned with the approval of man than the approval of God, the masses in Jesus’ day began to make a greater deal of lesser things and a lesser deal of greater, godly things. Are you increasingly making much out of little things and little out of good, godly things that should be made much of?

Sign #7: You Become Increasingly Religiously Overconfident

So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. (John 7:28 ESV)

The religious people of Jesus’ day thought they knew a lot about God, while all the while not knowing much of God. They thought they knew the facts about God, but their faculties were not trained toward Him. And in the end, they were just plain wrong on the facts too. Are you potentially learning more about Jesus, but not more of Him?

There are many other signs that you could be living for the approval of man above the approval of God. Here are 7 from John 7. What other signs do you see?