I have a student at school struggling with this right now. Actually, there a lot of students, because really there a lot of people that mix up seeking attention vs. seeking approval. All any of us want, down in our very core, is for as many people to approve of us as possible. We want the approval of peers, leaders, family, neighbors, the dog, even the lady at the grocery store. We want to feel loved. But we get confused and think that attention is the same thing.
God wants us to do the right thing. He wants us to find approval here on earth and with Him in heaven. He wants us not to just get attention, but approval–and that comes with honor and respect, which in turn becomes love.
I need to talk to my student tomorrow about this concept. I am hoping it will help both of us remember what we need to do each day to earn approval.
I am including more of this scripture today so you can read it in full context:
Submission to Governing Authorities
13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.