Not Validation, but Confirmation
It was healthy to change how I saw others' encouragement from validation to confirmation.
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."
A few weeks ago, something that I had loved the thought of happened.
A reputable Christian organization whose work I love 'liked' one of my blog post shares on one of my social media channels.
A year or two ago, I would've taken that as a deep approval and validation, and then in an unhealthy sequence of events I would've wondered if they'd publish me at any point, or let me speak, or notice me, or just like another blog. I'd become fixed on getting another dose of approval, because I had an unhealthy rooted need for approval from others to validate what I was doing.
For me, that stems from not finding the approval and validation I needed from my dad, and therefore not feeling confident enough to make my own choices without some level of approval from others. When we don't get approval from the right sources in our family growing up, we look for transient approvals that never stick around to root us properly.
Maybe you've also struggled with needing approval. Maybe for you it has a different 'why' behind it, but you find a lack of confidence despite public appearances.
I'm happy to share this is an area God has really been growing me in. After I saw that like, I told one of my mentor's out of excitement via text, but I added 'it's not validation, but confirmation.'
The difference is I now find my validation and approval in Jesus alone. I depend on the Holy Spirit to confirm my decisions, from big ones to what I consider to be little ones. But we are made for community, not isolation, and there is something to be said about honoring those who have gone before us. So now I can receive a nod of approval as confirmation that others see fruit and benefit to the work God has called me to do, but I don't operate out of the next 'fix' of approval from them.
I perform for Jesus alone.