How to Break Free From Approval Addiction

How to Break Free From Approval Addiction

Online giving at my church is so convenient, but it has created some real challenges for me. First, I’m curious if I still get credit for giving if I’m getting frequent flier miles for every dollar I give. Is it going to rain on my next vacation because I paid for it with miles I accrued giving to God?

Second, I know the church incurs a 3% processing fee for me using my credit card. So when I tithe am I actually only giving 9.7%, or is it 9.97%? (Someone help me with the math on that please…) Either way, I’m concerned whether God rounds up when it comes to inevitable processing fees. Am I getting full 10% tithe credit?

But by far the biggest issue arises when the offering plate passes on Sunday. Sometimes I want to mumble, “Oh! I already gave online…” as I hand the plate over to Mrs. Ramirez. I don’t want her to think I don’t give.

Of course, I’m joking (mostly), but it’s amazing how much a need for approval can drive even the most self-confident of us. We all want it. But when it gets out of control it can become a dangerous thing. It can turn into approval addiction. We can’t lead well, or even follow well, when we are doing everything out of a need for approval.

Which is where the power of the spiritual discipline of secrecy comes into play. Secrecy is doing what’s right before God without feeling the need to let anyone know about it. Jesus talked about the discipline when he said, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matt. 6:3-4)

I’m convinced that the spiritual discipline of secrecy is the cure for approval addiction. When you begin to realize that the deep approval you are looking for only comes from God himself you’ll become confident and secure as you walk out of your identity as someone loved by him.

Do good today and just keep it between you and God. Your little secret.