Are You Seeking Evaluation or Validation?

I thought I was ready for it.

I assumed I had thick skin.

I figured I could handle the critique of a stranger with a discerning eye.

I even requested it.

But I was wrong.

With each bullet point summarizing the problems she saw, I grew increasingly discouraged. By the end of her 672 word review, I was ready to shut down my blog for good.

I threw myself a grand old pity party.

And when it was over, I realized I hadn’t been seeking constructive evaluation. What I wanted was positive validation. I hoped her impartial eye would find my work brilliant and beautiful and inspiring.

When she didn’t, I felt like quitting. The work required to get my blog up to her standards sounded overwhelmingly exhausting. And much of it was outside my own ability to fix.

Sometimes I approach God’s Word the same way. It sounds really Christian and holy to ask God to change me. But is that what I’m really looking for when I dig deeply into the pages of Scripture?

Not always.

I’d much rather read about how He loves me and I’m chosen and redeemed and precious in His sight.

Acceptance. Favor. Validation.

While those things are certainly there, I also find passages that reek of my own insufficiency and failure.

Stiff-Necked. Sinful. Condemned.

It can be overwhelming to recognize how far I still have to go on my journey of sanctification, of being made holy and perfect. Sometimes it makes me want to just throw in the towel.

And the Devil would like nothing better than for me to quit trying to become the MASTERPIECE God created me to be.

The Devil would like nothing better than for me to quit trying to become the MASTERPIECE God created me to be. #MASTERPIECE @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

Just as this woman pointed out all the flaws in my blog design and content, the law identifies problems in our lives. Once I blinked back the tears and wiped the smeared mascara off my cheeks, I was able to look more clearly at her recommendations. That’s when I saw her response less as a painful personal attack and more as 16 areas ripe and ready for improvement.

We’ve been given the antidote for the transgressions that plague us, but that doesn’t mean we won’t still battle them daily. There are some sins I will likely struggle with until the day I die. But I if stop trying, the Devil wins. And that one sin left un-checked is likely to lead to more. The enemy manipulates our failures and wedges his way between us and the solution. The only way to keep sin from dragging us to our demise is to daily study the Word and allow it to inspire the change in our lives God desires.

The law provides impartial evaluation, but the gospel gives us eternal validation.

The law provides impartial evaluation, but the gospel gives us eternal validation. @LizGiertz Click To Tweet

The law provides impartial evaluation, but the gospel gives us eternal validation.

Together they point out our sin and its solution.

Even when the harsh realities of the law make me want abandon my progress, the hope of the gospel keeps me trudging along.

If we don’t evaluate where we are, we won’t know how to get where we’re going.

My blog may never live up to her expectations, but I know that I will be perfected when my Creator returns to establish His eternal kingdom.

Do you read the Bible seeking evaluation or validation? What areas in your life are ripe and ready for improvement? What encouragment keeps you moving toward becoming the MASTERPIECE God created you to be?

Dear Father, Thank you for the gift of Your Word that not only points out my transgressions but also declares me perfect by Your Son’s sacrifice. Help me to approach the areas of improvement with hope and a desire to become who You created me to be. Protect me from the approaches of the enemy and show me where I might be allowing him a foothold in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

“Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.”

Lamentations 3:40

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul SurvivalMonday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His StoryWoman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Word of God Speak, Testimony Tuesday.

14 thoughts on “Are You Seeking Evaluation or Validation?

  1. A perfect life..1 cross +3 nails=4 given…resurrected/ascended..He brings me life eternal in heaven….thank you, Lord.

  2. Liz, I love the way you can take regular happening and turn it into a spiritual truth. Your writing is a gift, girl! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  3. Yes and more yes Liz! We are so on the same page lately, it seems. Working on a post for the current series that focuses on the heart behind our approval seeking! Your words help me think it through more clearly, and I pray live this more joyfully. Amen. Blessings to you, friend!

  4. I emailed my manuscript to my editor yesterday. This post is exactly the heart-check I need in the waiting. I want it to come back with a stamp of approval. Her changes will mean a clearer message. And isn’t that what we want? We want our message–that message God has given us–to come across loud, clear, beautiful, and unhindered. The red ink of an editor’s pen only purifies the message. So glad to be your #livefree neighbor this morning!

    1. Oh, Kelly! Congratulations! I’ll be praying for you as your partner with your editor to refine you message! Won’t you share what your book is about, please?!

  5. Liz, to continue your great analogy, I find great comfort in knowing that the Author and Perfecter of my faith has the finished product in mind when He initiates and invites changes in my life. I’m also glad that, with time, you were able to look at all those blog recommendations more objectively. 🙂 (I think you have a lovely blog, by the way!)

  6. Beautiful post, the title caught my attention because I struggle with the whole validation thing. I tend to seek it in the wrong places or become discouraged when someone gives me an honest evaluation of any given situation. Blessings as you continue to write and encourage others to draw close to Jesus!

    1. Yes! We think we want honesty but more often I want somebody to tell me I’m doing a good job. Even though the best route to actually doing things right is honest evaluation! Blessings upon your journey, too!

  7. Beautiful writing and my initial reaction to an evaluation would be the same as yours. Sometimes I think we have to allow ourselves the tears and “I’m going to give up” feelings before we embrace it and move on determined to get better. In terms of sins, I realize when the Holy Spirit points them out to me, sometimes I’m not willing to give them up. Even things like being jealous. It takes a bit of work in my prayer time to release my wrongdoing to God.

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