I received a text a few days ago from a reader who asked for prayer about approval addiction (previous post). Another reader provided insight to the book, Approval Addiction, by Joyce Meyer, that was referenced. She has read the book and highly recommends it. She had some awesome points she wanted to share through a desire to help others. Her story is a testimony to God’s power and strength. (The youtube video above of Matthew West – The Healing Has Begun– was given to me by a special friend during a time of healing.)
This blog is for us to share Jesus, laugh, talk, and heal. I want to personally thank Christine for being willing to share and help others in the process of her healing. That’s how we can grow and learn more about Him.
Here are some nuggets from Approval Addiction that I took to heart:
Stand firm in who you are in Christ and HIS plan for you:
The approval that I should first seek is from God. Any decision I make should be one I will firmly stand upon and believe that it is the best for myself and God’s will for my life. Another person does not thoroughly know the relationship I have with Christ and the inward feelings I have about the choices that I make. Since this is the case, then why am I worried about what other people think and fall into their control? When I am not steadfast and connected with God I seek approval from other people whether a family member or friend. Essentially, I am placing a judgement of God’s into human hands and allowing my self-image to become criticized.
Positive change begins when I choose to change myself, not others:
I believe making a change in life, in most any circumstance, begins with myself. This is the most difficult place to begin because change is not always easy and many times the hardest, inconvenient decisions will provide the most positive result. I need to recognize when I am not seeking God, and who I am allowing to control my actions and attitude to begin to compose a solution. On the other hand, my reaction is completely opposite. I want to find what is wrong with everyone else, every other situation and ultimately allow the same results to upset me over and over again. (It’s important that we recognize negative patterns, that are causing us to not have the abundant life that Jesus desires for us. He wants good things for us)
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
We can’t avoid this addiction, or cover it up with busy. Our negative patterns follow us into marriage and parenting, and we need help to change, so we can love ourselves completely, and love others freely.
Approval addiction does not change with the changes that happen during the sequence of life. I basically thought that running away and moving on with life, no matter how exciting and blessed it may have been, would break my bondage from feelings of obligation and relieve past hurts. Honestly, these happenings from the past only surface themselves with other people who do not deserve to be treated out of guilt, mistrust and much hesitance. This is a huge area that I am working through; working against reactions and in turn controlling my reactions to help progress a problem to a solution rather than shutting it down all together.
Arrested by His Grace, I need to accept His love for me.
I need to remember that God loves me no matter what I have been through and in what areas of life that I fall short. Fully knowing and really understanding this will help me to approve of myself and break the feeling of weight and bondage on my shoulders. People are accountable to God for their own individual actions and reactions, so why should I feel responsible for the way that someone else is acting? I do not control them! Approving of myself will bring more of the joy and peace that God offers into my life and I will once again bubble over and feel secure in Christ. I am not supposed to be perfect; I am not supposed to dwell on my shortcomings and the opinions of others; I need to give myself some room to grow.
Avoiding conflict is not the answer.
Many people who are addicted to approval will avoid confrontation at all costs. This allows another person, who feeds off of being in control, to take that control of you. The controller may use different tactics such as manipulation or the silent treatment to control the approval addict who will then do everything in his or her power to prevent those “punishments” from happening. I believe that I have fallen as the approval addict in this situation. Both the controller and the addict are feeding to each other’s weakness. I was miserable because I felt as though I could not make my own decisions as an adult without worrying about the recourse. If I thought my controller would disapprove of my plans I would likely change what I wanted to do in order to be more pleasing. As a result, the whole relationship suffered. The actual solution to this is uncomfortable. I should have confronted my controller in a matter of love and respect to stand up for myself and not allow our relationship to dwindle. Even still, I am only in the driver’s seat to my actions.
And I could go on, but for now I am going to leave it at this. Hope this has been beneficial for you!
We have coping/defense mechanisms that help us cope in a world of sin and suffering. One of them is called introjection. As children, we look to the adults around us and symbolically absorb their perceptions of us. As our minds are developing we look to our loved ones for our self perception. If you feel disapproved of by a significant person in your life, you have the potential to absorb this as “who you are.” The “I’m bad” shame feelings.
Knowing this is powerful because we can begin to reframe those false perceptions of self, and begin to rebuild ourselves in the knowledge of who we are in Christ, Jesus!
Remember what Christine said? It starts with me and my choices. The same author of Addiction Approval has a GREAT page with “Knowing who you are in Christ!”
Click the link above. Print it out. Read who you are every day and claim it! And, if you need further counseling, seek help. A good Christian counselor can take significant time with you to reframe your thoughts, and provide a process for healing. Jesus is our healer! Amen!
For those who can’t click on link:
Not sure who you really are? Read this list of Biblical truths that reveal who God made you to be.
I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).
I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).
I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).
I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).
I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18).
I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17-18; Luke 10:17-19).
I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9-10).
I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38).
I have no lack for my God supplies all of my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16).
I can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
I show forth the praises of God Who has called me out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).
I am God’s child for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).
I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).
I am a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am a spirit being alive to God (Romans 6:11;1 Thessalonians 5:23).
I am a believer, and the light of the Gospel shines in my mind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my actions (James 1:22,25).
I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).
I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
I am a partaker of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).
I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
I am the temple of the Holy Spirit; I am not my own (1 Corinthians 6:19).
I am the head and not the tail; I am above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12).
I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7).
I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13).
I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness, and poverty (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Galatians 3:13).
I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude (Colossians 2:7).
I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).
I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).
I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).
I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).
I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).
I am submitted to God, and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Jesus (James 4:7).
I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward (Philippians 3:14).
For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
It is not I who live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).