#PreApproved Sisterhood Series
Welcome to a new series, hosted here on the blog. Every Tuesday night, one of our PreApproved sisters will share her story on letting go of a love idol.
Together, we’re giving up our love idols, and we’re not taking them back.
We are already approved; we have nothing to prove. In Christ, we are #preapproved.
Learning What True Contentment Means
By Jessica Bolyard
Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21)
This spring, I joined the Love Idol Movement, seeking to see myself as genuinely preapproved and to purge my life of the idol of approval. I devoured Jennifer’s book, reading it as someone half-starved to death, then re-reading it to savor it. As a part of my journey through the book, I sacrificed my clothes for the season of Lent, promising God that I would wear nothing but white shirts and blue jeans for forty-plus days.
I’ll admit: it was a strange thing to do. When my husband came home to my nearly-empty closet, he was on board for whatever I was doing. (Bless him.) I could tell, though, that he didn’t really follow how it was going to go. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure, either. All I knew was that I had to get rid of the idol hanging in my closet. For far too long, I had used my clothing as a way of seeking approval from others, and it seemed like it had worked.
“You’re my style icon. I try to dress like you.”
“You always look so chic….so put-together.”
“You have a real gift for putting outfits together. Everything is always perfect.”
Whereas people thought they were complimenting me, they were feeding my addiction. I was flying high on their approval, and as long as my efforts paid off, I would continue in my relentless pursuit. Eventually, the comments I got from other people became my own identity, and I saw myself through their eyes instead of through God’s. I knew it had to stop, and journeying through Love Idol gave me the push I needed.
What I found, though, was that not everyone understood what I was doing, or why. I found myself trying to explain why I wore white shirts every day, and discovered that it was hard to get my point across. Not only did most people not even notice that I was wearing essentially the same thing every day (what?!), but when I tried to convey why, I got nothing but blank stares in return. No one understood, creating a most uncomfortable silence for this girl who just wants everyone to like her.
I realized that idols don’t often make sense to people who aren’t caught in their snares. When we read 1 Kings, we 21st-century Christians like to laugh at Baal’s prophets’ ridiculous antics. We don’t understand why they would cut themselves with swords and dance around their altar and shout until they were hoarse. We don’t understand, but in worship of their god, that was normal….expected, even. As for me….well, I don’t make myself bleed as I worship my idol, but I do cry in my closet doorway. I do assemble several elaborate ensembles before fretfully choosing one. I do consider what different people would say or do or think in response to my clothes….and I dare say, that is every bit as ridiculous.
Yes, I love Jesus, but for far too many years I haven’t believed his acceptance is enough. I have idolized the approval of others. But today, I have sought forgiveness. Today, I am learning what it means to be content in Christ. Today, I’m learning who I really am in Him.
Today, I realize that nothing I say or do – or wear – can change my approval status.
I am Jessica, and I am preapproved.
Jessica Bolyard is a writer and speaker with a passion for seeing and experiencing Christ in everyday moments of life. Through her own relationship with the Lord, she has come to appreciate the subtle ways He lovingly pursues us and draws us into intimacy with Himself. Jessica longs to help others to live in awareness of God’s presence in the easily overlooked moments of life by sharing her own experiences with transparency and authenticity.
Jessica blogs at Adjusting To The World (www.AdjustingToTheWorld.com) and is part of the preaching team at the Quest Church in Martinez, Georgia. She lives in Georgia with her husband and daughter, and on the ideal Saturday afternoon can be found curled up with a blanket, a good book, and her ferociously purring cat.
THE LOVE IDOL MOVEMENT
Click here to find out more about the Love Idol movement.
Click here to purchase the book that inspired the movement.
Click here to join us on Facebook as we lay down our Love Idols and declare our #preapproved status in Christ.
Click here to print the black and white preapproved cutouts.
Place these where ever your Love Idols have lurked!
A pink PreApproved printable: to frame, to put on your refrigerator, to give to a friend.
Click here to print. My gift to you, brave soul!