The desire to be approved of or recognized by people is something that lies at the heart of American culture. We live in a performance based culture of celebrities and fandom. Truth is that God created all humans to worship something, namely Himself. Because of the way God wired us, recognition of people is a natural tendency. But because of the sinfulness of the human heart, we can become desirous of the recognition of others. In subtle ways, we can even long for the recognition that others were made to give to God, to be given to us. There is also a very real danger in allowing others opinion of us keep us from serving Jesus because we fear not being accepted by them. This is a struggle with the idol of significance and it shows up in a variety of ways in our lives.
Read Ps. 113:4-6
Discuss: How should we view our significance in the world compared to God’s?
Read Galatians 1:10
Discuss: What does it mean to seek the approval of men over Christ?
Do you find yourself doing good even spiritual things to get attention from people?
What kinds of things do you most often brag about yourself to others? Or want them to know?
What do you think you would gain by having the praise and recognition of others, that God couldn’t give you?
When do you feel most tempted to make sure that others notice what you have accomplished?
Read Prov. 1:7, Ecc. 12:13, Col. 3:23, 1 Sam 16:7
How do these passages show our need to balance recognition from others and deflect praise to God?
How has God revealed your need for grace because of your desire for significance?
What can you do to make sure that your motives are pure before you do good things?