Emotions reveal desires. Fear says, “There’s something I want, but might not get.” One fear we struggle with is people. We fear people’s criticism or rejection. We perceive they have power to give us something. To put it differently, we think people can bless us. A word of praise someone offers you is a blessing. An encouragement note is a blessing. We can get addicted to these strokes and the flip side of the coin is that we fear not getting them or getting their opposites: criticism or rejection. 

How can I rub future glory into this craving for people’s blessing and fear of their rejection? 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Eph. 1:4).

I have already been blessed in the heavenly realms by the God who gives each breath to the people I fear the most. Receiving a word of praise from someone feels good, but it vanishes just as quickly as it was uttered. Because of what Christ has done, I have been clothed in his righteousness and the blessing I receive from God is the blessing of a magnitude only the righteousness of Christ can warrant.

Several years ago Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song called “See the Glory”. The chorus illustrates the ridiculousness of craving the fickle approval of people over relishing the definitive approval of God.

I’m playing GameBoy standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon
I’m eating candy sitting at a gourmet feast
I’m wading in a puddle when I could be swimming in the ocean
Tell me what’s the deal with me
Wake up and see the Glory

When you rub future glory into your fear you begin to have a different outlook on things. Having someone speak a word of criticism to you is like getting your GameBoy taken away while you’re standing in the middle of the Grand Canyon. Not a huge deal when you think about it. Having someone reject you is like someone taking away your candy while sitting at a gourmet feast. Again, not a huge deal when you think about it.

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