I am at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference this week. I had intended to put up a fresh blog, but I ran out of time. I hope you will enjoy a little post I wrote a few years back. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I’m going to do my best to respond to comment and comment on your blogs. Please have patience with me. 🙂
I recently visited a friend’s blog. She had wonderful news to share, and I eagerly celebrated with her. I happened to notice at the bottom of her post that people had given that post a five-star rating.
Hmmm. I wondered if anyone had given me a five star rating? Or less? Here’s where it gets sad (in that I did this to begin with). I checked my recent blog posts, and sighed.
Or none at all.
Then, I stopped. Why was I looking for others to give me stars? I wanted to know that what I’m writing makes a difference to those who read it. Does it really matter what others think of me, my thoughts and my writing? It shouldn’t, but sometimes, I allow it to.
In my short-term perspective, I focus on the wrong things—receiving affirmation from people. What matters most is being affirmed by God. He delights in me, takes pleasure in me, and loves me completely. That should be enough.
This forced me to question why those five stars were so important. And why I felt like to be affirmed as a newbie blogger, I had to have them. Would they make me feel like I’d “arrived?”
It also prompted me to remember why I began blogging. Is my goal to gain those five stars? Or is it to encourage others as best I can? Reminding myself why I began to blog helped me regain perspective.
What do I do when I catch myself seeking validation from people?
- I remind myself that, in God’s eyes, I am enough. He has given me the talents and giftings He knew I would need. They don’t look like some of my friends’ giftings, but that’s okay. His plans for me are different than they are for them.
- I talk to my husband or a trusted friend about the thoughts I’m grappling with. They speak truth to those lies trying to stick themselves in my brain.
- I journal-pray. Writing down these thoughts, and allowing the Lord to speak His truth to my heart brings peace and perspective.
I wish I could say I only deal with this once a decade, but the quest for people-affirmation is a frequent struggle of mine. By God’s grace, I’m learning how to refocus my thoughts in healthier directions more quickly than I used to.
Maybe I’ll get to the place where what people think about me won’t matter. Between here and there, I’ll choose to remember that I’m a five-star in God’s book.
What about you? Where do you find your value? How do you deal with the desire for people-affirmation?