Validation. It’s a struggle I’ve had since a preteen. When I had little self-esteem in myself feeling validated felt REALLY good. Praise. Admiration. You name it.
Pride & Humility
Unfortunately feeling validated doesn’t give us self-esteem or confidence. We are always going to want more. As I slowly began to gain my self-esteem back and some confidence in my early 20s I still sought validation more than ever.
Just recently God has shown me that self-validation, though not always, often leads to pride. It’s a hidden cloak of flattery. An ego boost. Being validated, for me, was more focused on myself than Jesus.
(NIV) Zephaniah 2:03, “Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger.”
Yikes. Notice how seeking the Lord should be done in humility. I seek validation FOR MYSELF (totally not the humblest thing to do)… let alone I should seek God first before any mortal.
Even scripture knows pride and humility can’t mix together.
(NIV) Proverbs 11:02, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Disgrace is similar to shame and corruption. Pride certainly corrupts us from the inside out.
I’ve heard multiple times how we should pray that God reveals secret sin, as our heart (which stores good or evil) can be deceiving to us. We don’t always realize what we are storing inside. We don’t always see that what we think is “treasure” is trash. I finally decided I needed to get back on track with this… and suddenly received clarity in all these secret ways my pride seeps out of me.
It’s not obvious, at first, but now it’s loud and clear.
- I’ll say things repeatedly that pat myself on the back. Or mention how I made a good choice… again repeatedly. Often, I do have a secret hope people agree and praise me. I’ll bring things up from months ago… sigh.
- I’ll struggle when I feel “corrected” by someone. Like how dare people make an assumption I’m not aware of x, y, z and then share information (kindly) as if I don’t know. I realize this is purely my flesh’s reaction and most often people have kind intentions.
- I’ll look for things that validate what I’m doing. (This used to be an issue with blogging stats especially in the past.)
- I’ll pose questions or statements that after they are said, secretly, I hope validation comes out of them.
All of these are tied to pride for me because if it goes against what I’m expecting (selfish pride, vanity) I struggle or become disappointed, even if slightly disappointed that’s no reason to harbor pride! These aren’t major moments or issues on the outside, but internally I have to admit they are. These seeds can easily take root. For anyone who has tried to pull weeds before it’s a rough process.
Our hearts truly can treasure deceptive weeds that look like beautiful flowers.
(NIV) Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”
(ESV) James 1:26, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
Not only, as this scripture points out, should our tongue be controlled, but every other part of us.
Overcome With Christ
There are sins that only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us through Jesus Christ. This is why we must have a relationship with Him and pray often to Him. We must be humble enough to realize that, no, we cannot fight these issues on our own.
(NLT) Galatians 5:07, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.”
1/9th of the fruit we receive from the Holy Spirit is self-control. Through the Comforter, we can reign over the flesh and die to it.
(NIV) Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
No one is perfect. Sins we are able to repent from, through the help of Jesus, pave the way to the next obstacle. We must worship and pray often. Seek the assembly of other strong and true believers of Jesus Christ. You might have to get creative in meeting 🙂 but God knew even in a time of self-isolation this would happen, there are opportunities. We can edify, encourage, and keep each other accountable.
Just like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress we, too, can continue to walk forward and let go of this world. But we must be willing and humble. We must cling to Jesus and His word.
(NIV) Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
True validation is found in Christ, and it is always enough.
What is something God revealed to you that you struggled with? How did He help you?
Monthly Scripture- (NKJ) Psalm 85:03, “You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned from the fierceness of Your anger.”
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath