You can’t win! You just…can’t!
When you know you won’t win. That you can’t. No matter what you do. With someone. Or a group of someones.
You can continue to try. Bending over backwards with niceness and obsequiousness. Changing who you are and trying desperately to be what they say you should. So you can get their approval.
Or you can open your eyes and realize it’ll never be enough. That’s step 1. Sure…if it’s a bunch of someones…make sure they don’t have a point. That there aren’t some serious behavioral things with you that need to be addressed. But once you do that…and your eyes are open. And you know you’ll never win (again, realizing that is step 1)…
You might be tempted to throw shade. Hate on them. With hurt in your heart, weariness of soul, deep and hidden insecurity…shout out: “I never wanted their approval anyway. I couldn’t give two rips about them!” But that’s not exactly true, is it? Nor is hate a good salve for the pain you feel.
You’ve opened your eyes. You know you’ll never win. And even if you do…you have to keep winning with them. And that’s…well…exhausting. And kinda dumb. So…
Since you can’t win with them…you stop trying to get their approval. You change the definition of “win” to what it should have been all along: faithfulness to the Truth and the call of God on your life. You get your identity, your approval, your love and sense of self, your security. You get these things- all of them!- from your relationship with Jesus.
And, because you’re tied to Jesus, you refuse to hate people. Instead, you love them. Seeking what is in their best interests (that’s what love is). But you’re no one’s puppet. They can’t manipulate you because you don’t need anything from them. You aren’t operating out of emotional need. A desire to win approval. Nah…you already have it in Christ. The One who matters most. You’re operating out of the solid foundation of who you are in Christ. Ready to give, not needing to get. And this…THIS!…sets you free.
You can’t win. Because you already have. And that’s more than enough.