All of us have a deeply rooted desire to be loved and approved of by others. We were created by God to exist in loving fellowship with Himself and with fellow humans. Because of this, the need for approval is deeply ingrained in our nature. Because of the effects of sin, however, our relationships with others have been corrupted—they have been marred by uncertainty and distrust. We are all plagued, in one way or another, by the fear of disapproval and rejection.

This fear manifests itself in many ways. The lady who worries that her beloved does not love her back, the boy who fears that his friends secretly disdain him, and the employee who fears the hidden disapproval of his employer all share the same fear that is a result of the same curse.

The uncertainty of love and approval often leads to despair. When allowed to fester in the heart, our fear quickly turns to self-hatred, bitterness toward others, and eventually rejection of God. This uncertainty, however, should have the opposite effect on the Christian. The uncertainty of love and approval should drive the Christian to rejoice in the absolute certainty of God’s love and approval secured by the shed blood of Jesus.

We may never know if we are cared for by others, but one thing is certain—Christ loves us enough to have suffered and died a bloody death on a cross to save our souls. Because of what Christ has done for us, all of our guilt and shame has been washed away, and God looks upon us with the same approval with which He looks upon Christ. It is just as certain as the fact that Christ has risen from the dead that we, who have been raised to newness of life with Him, are loved immensely by God. When you are unsure in others, rejoice that you are sure in Christ!

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