Several years ago, while out walking for exercise, I was talking to the Lord about feeling left out and devalued in ministry. We had recently moved and I felt unnecessary and unliked. As I lamented to God about my disappointment, He spoke back to me and asked, “Why do you spend so much time worrying about what others think about you and so little time thinking about what I think about you?” Then He said, “I have plans for you. I have a future for you. I have thoughts about you. My plans and thoughts for you are not evil, but they are good.” Tears flowed down my face as God reminded me of my value to Him, and my self-perception immediately changed. God validated me.God reminded me of my value to Him. Click To Tweet
Words used by Merriam-Webster to define validate include “to confirm,” “to support or corroborate,” and “to recognize” or “to establish.” I experienced the power of validation that day as God confirmed and established my worth to Him. That moment of validation from God was pivotal to my forward movement.
Validation from God
All humans seek validation. Validation can change one’s self-perception and can help motivate an individual towards success in his or her endeavors. Validation has helped me to function in my giftings with more confidence. Unfortunately, however, we often seek validation in unhealthy ways and from the wrong sources. Proverbs 25:27 explains, “It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory” (ESV). In other words, people who seek validation from the applause of other people and for popularity do so to their own shame. Galatians 5:26 instructs us to not desire vain glory. As Christians, we should be dead to vain glory because seeking the applause of others creates strife and contention.
Validation gained from the need to be better than others for prestigious gain is self-defeating. Healthy validation, on the other hand, is illustrated in Psalm 37:5–6, which instructs, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (ESV). Jude 20 tells us to build ourselves up in our most holy faith and to pray in the Holy Ghost. God is our ultimate source for validation.
Validation from the Body of Christ
The body of Christ is another source for healthy validation. Scripture consistently reveals God’s desire for His body to function as helps for each other. In I Thessalonians 5:11 and 13, Paul instructs us to edify each other and to esteem those who work among us “highly in love for their work’s sake.” As members of Christ’s body, we are called to support and help one another in fulfilling our God-called purpose.
Furthermore, we should also seek to support when those among us make mistakes. Jesus exemplified this in Luke 22:32. Knowing Peter was about to deny Him, Jesus told Peter, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (ESV). Jesus knew if Peter was going to be able to move forward into his God-called purpose, he would need to be validated after making such a big mistake.
Victor Jackson recently stated while preaching, “When we fail to recognize each other’s function, we isolate people and divide the body.” We must not fail to validate each other’s callings and giftings. When we encourage each other, give support, lift each other up, value each other as God’s people, and acknowledge one another’s God-called purpose, we please God, and His ministry flows through us.
When we need validation, we should find it in our identity in Christ and within the body of Christ. As members of Christ’s body, we should do more than seek to be validated; we should also seek to validate others. Validation is powerful.
Resources and Links
A version of this article was published in Reflections. – Reflections is a bi-monthly publication to biblically encourage, equip, and empower women for Apostolic life and service.