What Does the Bible Say about Seeking the World’s Validation?

Scripture warns us of the dangers of being people pleasers in this verse. When we allow pride to get in our way and seek to gain the approval of others, we essentially place ourselves and others above God.

Contributing Writer
Jun 01, 2023
What Does the Bible Say about Seeking the World’s Validation?

If I were being honest, I am a girl that likes to be liked. I seek approval and love to know I am making some sort of impact. Now granted, I think many of us feel this way, but some do seek it a tad bit more than others. Any people pleasers out there? Yep, I feel you!

While most of us can attest to the fact that we like to be liked and that we naturally seek approval, long to fit a certain mold, yearn to belong, and feel accepted, it still comes with many strings attached.

That’s because the need to feel validated and gain approval from others is exhausting, frustrating, and often comes with disappointment.

This constant push and pull on our hearts, putting ourselves out there, and hoping we are warmly received, can be an emotional roller coaster ride, especially if we are met with a harsh or upsetting response.

From little likes to a social media post, to the fear of missing out to low attendance to a special event, can all contribute to a confused heart and a riptide of hurt. Then at some point, it is easy to question our worth based on the preconceived notions of others.

Unfortunately, this is a downward spiral that many of us can get caught in. And if we aren’t careful, we begin to put too much emphasis on what others think, sometimes without even realizing it.

We All Seek Validation

God designed us in a way that yearns to belong. We crave this sense of purpose and to know we are valued (Isaiah 43:4).

But, when we are searching for approval from others, even if they are godly people we look up to, we will never feel fully validated.

People will fail us (as we will them) and never cease to fill us the way our souls truly need. Not to mention, if our motives are to be liked instead of “beloved,” we will be sorely disappointed, and our souls will always be thirsty for more — it will never be enough.

So, I ask this, where does your validation come from?

As believers, we can say that we trust God and that He leads us and directs our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 29:11).

But we have to truly and passionately pursue God’s validation with vigor by abiding in Him, digging into His Word, and allowing Him to touch our hearts in a way that reminds us of who we are.

What the Bible Says about Validation

Every time we seek the approval of others, we can easily become swept up by our feelings, compromise our beliefs, or grow frustrated when others don’t live up to our expectations. We mustn’t be deceived; this is a trap!

Let’s turn to God’s Word for the validation we really need. What does God say about validation? A lot, actually. Let’s unpack a few verses.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).

Paul points out that if we are constantly trying to please people, we are not serving Christ. We can’t do both. We either seek the approval of others or of God.

On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

As believers, we have the honor of sharing the gospel with others. God knows our hearts and the actions that drive us, and He entrusts us to be stewards of His Word. We can not fully do that if we are seeking to please others and not God.

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29).

Peter warns us of the dangers of being people pleasers in this verse. When we allow pride to get in our way and seek to gain the approval of others, we essentially place ourselves and others above God.

How God Validates Us

The amazing thing about our God is that He knows exactly how to validate each of us, making it beautifully unique. His validation is personal and comes with the assurance of our worth and identity, all while being wrapped in everlasting hope (Psalm 37:6).

There is no need to strive to get enough likes or to feel good enough in order to fit in. With God, we always belong and are fully known and loved. However, God’s validation comes with shaping, pruning, and transformation.

God wants more for us, and by being immersed in His Word and presence, He will lead us to His Truth and righteousness, making us more like Jesus and less like this world.

1. God validates us by knowing us intimately and personally. Psalm 56:8 tells us that God keeps track of our sorrows and collects our tears. He cares so deeply for us that He invites us to cast our anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7).

There is no need to put on a façade with God. No need to feel you have to measure up or become a certain person to gain His love. He tells us to come to Him with our whole hearts and seek Him, and He will remind us that we are so loved and valuable to Him (Matthew 10:29-31).

2. God validates us by growing us. God doesn’t want us to stay stuck in our own sinful patterns or to keep us from a rich life full of purpose.

His love for us runs so deep that as the Master Gardener, He prunes and shapes us so that we can live an abundant life (John 15:5).

God knows that seeking approval from this world can ruin our lives, and wreak havoc on our souls, so He invites us to grow in our faith, find peace, and gain acceptance through Him.

3. God validates us by calling us His friend. Friends can bring so much joy to our lives and are such a beautiful blessing (Proverbs 27:9).

However, because we live in a broken world, at some point, friendships will become strained, tested, or even bring about sorrow and hurt.

But God calls us to be His friend and tells us to love another as He loves us (John 15:12-17). When God becomes our closest friend, His approval becomes the only one that matters.

People Pleasers Vs. God Praisers

We can either be people pleasers and gain validation from this world or be God praisers and seek validation from God alone. We can’t be both!

We must understand that by fostering our people-pleasing to gain the approval of others only separates us from God’s goodness and feeds our insecurities.

Romans 12:2 tells us not to conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

We must do what is pleasing to God — period. When we dive into His Word, we not only transform our minds, but we find the validation our souls truly crave and desperately need.

Praising God and giving Him our thankful hearts cultivates an open, honest, and vulnerable relationship that enables us to connect more intimately and deeply with Him.

When we communicate with God our need to feel validated, we allow Him to tame our need to seek approval from others and pick up the truth of who God says we are — His beloved children!

For further reading:

What Does it Mean to Be in the World but Not of the World?

Why Should We Not Be Conformed to This World?

What Does the Bible Say about the World?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Caiaimage/Martin Barraud

Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.


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