We are indeed a society who are seekers of validation. When we are feeling down and out, depressed, unloved, we are only a click or two away from that comforting feeling that validation brings us. Social media makes it all too easy for us to get a quick pick me up when we feel down. But how long does that last?
Validation is rightly functional in many cases, and we owe it too many people to validate them for their efforts and services along with many other things. But when we seek validation to numb the pain we feel, this is when it becomes dangerous. By beginning the act of numbing, we delay finding the source of that pain or hurt.
Delaying this process only strengthens the need to feel validated for all the wrong reasons. And when we continue the cycle in search of validation, the source of our hurt becomes even harder to find.
You see, in our search for validation, we begin to empty our tank for our emotional well-being.
Being that we are humans, we can only handle so much before we become emotionally compromised. The continued pursuit of constant searching for acceptance from the world drains each one of us.
If we continually look at the world for validation, we will begin to learn the art of compromising. We will compromise our physical, emotional, and spiritual feelings. We do this so that we might feel accepted. So what do we do if we have completely emptied our tank in one of these three areas?
Let’s first examine a quote by the man himself, Jesus Christ, in response to a Samaritan woman searching for living water.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
The first part of the verse spells out the cycle of seeking worldly validation. You will always come back for more. It will never stop.
But you may ask, “So yeah, if I drink of the water offered by Jesus, will I never feel the need to be validated or have my feelings or emotions validated?” Well, no, not exactly. Yes, this isn’t the answer you are looking for, but wait, it gets worse. Let’s look at John 15:19:
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you”
So thus far, we have established that if we search for validation through Jesus, we will still feel the need for worldly validation, and at the same time, our desired source for validation will hate us. What have we really gained in turning to Jesus? Everything!
“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.” Luke 6:22-23
In our search for validation, we look for something constant and ideally want a source of validation that is perfect. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel loved and desired 24/7/365. We all love an encouraging Facebook comment or a stranger complimenting our appearance.
The only constant source that will ever truly fulfill our long desire to be validated is through Jesus.
“In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1st John 4:9-10
You see, God loved you before you ever set foot on this planet. Through His Son’s sacrifice on the cross, we have received the ultimate validation: His love.
Seeking validation through Christ and searching through his Words continually show us how much he approves of us. But, this does not discount us from the pain of this world. We will still have our desires to seek validation through the world’s eyes. This does not mean you are a bad person. We are human and inherently seek out worldly desires. But no matter what, we will also feel empty once we have chased after the world.
We will not be perfect in our pursuit, but we do have an example of someone who was, and he will always be there to validate us with his merciful love.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15