Joyce Meyers has written a book recently called, "the approval addiction". I haven't read it, but I like the title.
Many times we can become addicted to receiving the approval of others. And that is especially hard when we are misunderstood, misjudged and underestimated.
I read a story this week of a policeman in Dallas who was working undercover at a high school, posing as a student, trying to bust a drug-ring. In the process of doing his job, he showed up late for class.
The teacher sent him to the principal's office, who gave him a choice: licks or detention. Since the detention would interfere with a scheduled drug buy, the policeman had no choice but to take the whipping.
Isn't this ironic?
A cop is putting his life on the line for the safety of the students of an inner city school, and in the process has to take a beating from the man whose job he is trying to make easier.
The principal didn't know the man was an officer working undercover. When he looked at the cop, he didn't see a comrade, he just saw a long-haired kid.
Before he was a king, David faced a similar situation. He was still a teenager when Goliath the Philistine challenged the army of Israel. None of the Israelite soldiers dared face the challenge; they were paralyzed with fear.
David was God's man to meet the challenge, but those closest to him couldn't see it. His brothers accused him of being selfish and egotistical; the king told him he was young and too small.
Yet, we all know what David did. He met the challenge; with a sling and a stone he conquered Goliath.
Even though no one else recognized David's potential, David didn't lose sight of what he could do with God's help. He refused to let their lack of appreciation for his ability prevent him from doing what God had called him to do.
You, too, may find yourself in this position. Many of the people who benefit from the work you do may never recognize the contribution you make. They may never give you the acknowledgement you deserve. They may underestimate you. The may overlook you. They may see you as something less than you really are.
And in the process, like the principal in Dallas, they may make it more difficult to do the work you've been called to do.
If others misjudge you, don't let it keep you from stepping out in faith and letting God do his work in your life. Their opinion of you means nothing. Your faith in God means everything.
David told Goliath that he would strike him down so that "all of the earth may know that there is a God in Israel." (1 Samuel 17:46)
David's eye wasn't on impressing his friends or winning the approval of his family. His eye was on the big picture—that through this step of faith, God would be glorified before the whole world.