Audience of One
As a police watch commander, officers were required to submit their daily crime and arrest reports to me for approval. “Do not write for me,” I counseled, “but for the prosecutor who will need details to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
This advice often fell on deaf ears as I was the person sitting in judgment of the written accounts they offered in pursuit of justice. But the light usually illuminated once they were called to the witness stand, and they realized my opinion was irrelevant. All that mattered is what they did, and didn’t do!
As a follower of Christ, living for the approval of people is nonsensical. Yet we all do it. As one who writes, I desire others to receive my work with anticipation and endorsement to help validate my thoughts and set of skills. But why do I need this kind of confirmation? Why do I need others to place their stamp of approval on my effort?
My reflective answer comes in the form of more questions. Am I seeking a pat on the back or practicing faithfulness to God’s call in my life?
Earnestly, I want my words to reflect God’s instruction to me. He teaches, and I write!
“For am I now seeking approval of man, or of God?” wrote Paul to the Galatians. “Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 ESV).
“I want to live for an audience of one—God,” is something I have written many times over. Nevertheless, living it out is a challenge. But today I proclaim I have put hobbies and activity to the side as I write. Not for my glory, but because of God’s brilliance.
If we follow Jesus, and pursue holiness, God will speak to us through Scripture, the Holy Spirit as our Helper, and nature. When he does, and we respond in obedience, that is living for an audience of ONE. Affirmation and encouragement are nice, but the seal of approval comes from our Father in heaven! And we need that more than anything else.