11022015_HolleyGerthn_ReceiveIt

Comedian Tim Hawkins said a turning point for him came when he realized he wasn’t in front of an audience to “get laughs.” He was there to “give laughter.”

His words kept echoing in my mind because there’s truth in them that we need. We’re all in front of an audience in some way these days. It could be when we post something on social media. It might be when we present during a meeting at work or tell a story around the dinner table with friends. Our natural human tendency in those situations is to ask, “What can I get?” We most likely don’t even do so consciously. But underneath we’re hoping for . . .

Approval.

Affirmation.

Applause.

Here’s the reality we all must face: an audience can’t give us anything we don’t already have. It can’t heal our souls. It can’t fill us up. It can’t prove our worth. Just ask any celebrity who has found fame to be a curse rather than a cure.

Instead, every time we find ourselves in front of an audience let’s see it as an opportunity to ask like Tim did, “What can I give?”

In a great paradox of life, when we are only out to get something we block our ability to receive. But when we open our hearts to pour out, we are in a position to be filled up as well.

“Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” {Proverbs 11:25}

As long as we are trying to get something from an audience we will be afraid. Insecurity comes from believing someone else has the power to withhold or withdraw what we need most. Serving sets us free because we’re saying, “What I need comes from a higher source. You don’t have to give it to me. And you can’t take it away. Therefore I am free to love you.” Perhaps the most powerful example of this is when Jesus washes His disciples’ feet:

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet.” {John 13:3-5}

Jesus could serve because what really mattered was already settled. He was confident in His identity. He knew God had a purpose for Him. He didn’t have anything to prove. We don’t have to prove anything either. We live for an audience of One. We don’t have to perform for His love; we only need to receive it. Then we can freely share it with others. No applause required.

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What I need comes from God. You can neither give it nor take it away. Therefore I am free to love you. {Tweet this!}

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Holley,
    It’s taken many, many years and God is still working on me and will until I depart this world, but through Christ’s power working in and through me I am learning to let go of that insecure young woman who performed for approval, strived to be good enough, needed affirmation like one who needs a drug. I now know that God is not up there shaking His head in disapproval every time I fall short. This is not the God I know. The One I know sees me through the blood of His son who was shed for me. His blood covers all my faults and sins and shortcomings and God sees me as perfect…perfect ONLY through the blood of Jesus who died for me. I loved this post and you’ve really got me thinking about what I can “give” vs. what I can “get” and I’m challenged to think about what truly is my motivation? The more I live life to an audience of One who loves me perfectly…the more I am able to give. You can’t give and get at the same time. Great post…thank you!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Ann R.

      I’ve struggled with insecurity on and off throughout my life never feeling that I was “good enough”, “smart enough”, “thin enough”….I hate to even think of all the experiences with God that I missed because I sat on the sidelines waiting until I was all the things I thought I needed to be to answer God’s call on my life. Even when I post on various websites, I catch myself thinking “what will they think?” It’s easy, even in our faith walks, to get wrapped up in the “not enough” mindset. But, as you said, I have Christ Who covers all my “not enoughs” and I am reminded that I am exactly who God created me to be, and who He created me to be is generous and giving and doesn’t need anyone’s approval other than His.

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Ann,
        Like you, I am trying not to lament the past, but attempting to go forward living in the light, love, acceptance, and affirmation of a God who truly loves me just as He created me. Listen to your own beautiful words…you are “generous” and “giving” and you DON”T need anyone else’s approval. Praying with you that we can tell the enemy, with his lie of “you’re not enough” to take a hike!!
        The world needs more people like you.
        Blessings,
        Bev xx

    • Beth Williams

      Bev,
      I, too, have and still struggle with insecurities! I hear “not enough, not smart, stupid, dumb, why even try” all the time! I realize these are the words of the evil one! I also have low self esteem so I love to hear “you’re beautiful, smart, talented”. Those make me feel good about myself. Really what we all need to realize is that God made us the way we are–beautiful Children of God!! We need to stop trying to be perfect and seeking affirmation and just about using the talents He has gifted us with!

      Blessings:)

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Beth,
        Do you know how many times you have truly encouraged me?? You ARE beautiful, smart, and talented, and more than anything you have a beautiful and tender heart that truly cares about others. Your genuineness comes through the screen and greets me right where I am and lifts me up. You are a real blessing to me and to others here. You are perfect through Christ’s blood…it’s finished… together, may we recognize the lies of the evil one and replace them with God’s truth about us.
        Love you sister,
        Bev xx

  • Keri Siegel

    That is powerful! It is really true, when you change your expectancy, when you know Who your Source is, and when you know who He created you to be; it changes everything. Everything in our lives must revolve around Him if we are to be who He called us to be and the only way we can be successful is to walk in our calling. God is faithful. It’s not an aspect of His character; it’s Who He is. Whatever we give to Him comes back to us multiplied with manifold blessings attached. Let’s surrender everything we have, are, and ever hope to be. Let’s let go of everything past, present, and future and give it all to Him so He can do what only He can do and make us new. Make Him the Center that everything in your life revolves around and you’ll never regret it. Be blessed.

  • http://www.sarahtravis.org/ Sarah Travis

    Thank you for this timely message and reminder Holley :)

  • Penny

    Just yesterday, I began to see that this is exactly what I’ve been doing with my husband for so many years. I would sacrifice things that were important to me, so that he could have something or do what he wanted. But it was never really a sacrifice done in love. It was done with the hope that he would give me something in return, that he would be proud of me, or love me more. It wasn’t ever really about him, but all about me. Because he didn’t respond the way I wanted, over the years I grew bitter. Yesterday he called me out on it, the bitterness part, that is. I wanted to disagree, but the Holy Spirit shut my mouth. He was right. “What I need comes from a higher source. He doesn’t have to give it to me, and he can’t take it away. Therefore, I am free to love him.” Thank you for those words. I really needed to hear them today.

    • Ann R.

      I think this is something that every married couple has experienced at one time or another. It’s so hard to always have the right heart motives when the world is telling us that we need to get and keep on getting Your post has made me reconsider my own motives and to think on purpose about the “why” behind what I am doing.

  • Lovelle

    This is so good. It’s something we all need to remember. We should be giving glory to God and pointing others towards Him. Not bringing attention on ourself. Mom you are so smart!

  • Ann R.

    I find that this perspective of giving and not expecting something in return is so much easier to take when I am dealing with strangers. When it comes to family, I find myself asking why they can’t do something for me because, afterall, I’ve done so much for them. I catch myself and realize that giving and serving is it’s own reward when I let it be. I am more fulfilled, more at peace when I take this perspective. When I get into the self-pitying “what about me?”, I sink into discouragement and disappointment and that is not what God wants for me. I find as time goes by that it’s the little things I can do for others that lighten their load that truly fills me and refreshes my soul. Please, Lord, let me be a blessing to others today.
    “Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” {Proverbs 11:25}

  • http://ChasingHoliness.com/ Brenda

    Love these words, thank you for “giving” them. :) I’ve noticed that when I’m in a place where I’m not seeking the approval of anyone other than the one who’s already approved me…it’s in those times that I don’t even want the approval of others. I just want to walk where he says walk, serve where He says serve, and let Him work out the details…and receive all the glory. It’s such a peaceful place to be, that when I’m in it, I wonder why I ever left it in the first place. Glad that He always brings my heart back home. :) ((blessings))

  • LaToya Brown

    Thank you for sharing such great points Holley. I’ve recently began changing my lifestyle with God’s help and I’ve lost about 30 pounds. There have been such significant changes happening spiritually besides the obvious shape of my body. However, I felt let down when I shared with my husband a milestone I’d passed (going down in pants sizes) and his response was “only 50 more to go.” I know, I know. That was pretty rude and he should be supportive, but I began this journey with the Lord to allow him to show himself mighty in all parts of my life. I’m learning everyone will not rejoice with me, compliment, or mention the changes. I’m learning to not depend on other people’s applause to give me Life. Jesus is the source of my Life and I can only give what I have truly accepted from Him.

    • Beth Williams

      LaToya,
      Congratulation on losing 30 lbs.!! That is a good accomplishment! I will pray for you as you continue on this journey with God!!
      Blessings :)

  • Laurie Kane

    Holley,

    Wow, I really needed to hear these words this week. I’m preparing for my first sermon at my Church, and I’m nervous. I want to let the Holy Spirit guide me, but I’m afraid, I’ll get in the way i.e. seeking approval from the Church. Thank you for this timely message and the reminder that I live for an audience of one (Trinity). I’ll print this out and read it before I prepare for my sermon. Thank you! Laurie Kane

    • Beth Williams

      Laurie Kane,
      Prayers for the sermon to be Holy Spirit directed! May God give you the words the congregation needs to hear! I know you will do great!!

      • Laurie Kane

        Hi Beth,
        Thank you for the kind words! I really appreciate the encouragement and the prayers!

  • http://www.simplyforone.net/ Tiffany

    “Insecurity comes from believing someone else has the power to withhold or withdraw what we need most.” I often give away the power that belongs only to God, to others. I allow fear of their approval or denial stop me from pursuing what God sets before me. Thank you for the reminder that He alone reigns!!

  • http://yahwehspearl.blogspot.com/ Maggie

    Dear Holley,
    I never realized that this is what I have been doing, seeking the approval and applause of others! How freeing to just seek this from my One and Only. Thanks for such an eye opening revelation. Made my day, week, month….

  • Gail Hough Thompson Ostermeyer

    This was well written and nicely needed in a world that seeks constant reinforcement. The Lord has been leading me in the direction of depending only upon Him and His encouragement. Thank you for this.
    Gail O

  • http://www.welcomeheart.com Sue Donaldson

    Profoundly true, Holley. It’s so easy for me to get in my own way, missing out on what God intended. Thank you.

  • http://freedtofly.me Trudy Den Hoed

    This is so meaningful, Holley. Insecurity loves to trap me into that approval addiction, but I try to live for the audience of ONE and seek to become more like Jesus. I especially love the last paragraph! Thank you, Holley, for this gentle reminder. Blessings to you!

  • Rebecca Jones

    Holley, I love this. I had such a desire to write. I got lots of rejection slips. I knew God gives us gifts and we should use them. The other day I found this verse. I hope it helps bless someone else. “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” Ecclesiastes 9:7 NIV

  • http://michelemorin.wordpress.com Michele Morin

    Oh, this was heart-stoppingly beautiful and so welcome today. To give laughter. To give blessing. I so want to be others’ focused and to trust God in this area.
    What an encouragement!

  • http://redemptionsbeauty.com/ Shelly Miller

    Thanks for this Holley, your words of encouragement are often timely. xx

  • http://www.Theflawedtreasure.com Kristi

    I love this. God has been speaking this to me in so many different ways and through so many different sources lately. Thank you for putting it into such poignant words. (p.s. I love the Tim Hawkins’ quote!)

  • http://www.inlightofthis.net Diane Klettke

    Beautifully expressed. This is the truth that I am discovering in the early days of blogging. When you blog from your heart, you become exposed. God exposes all our hidden motives for our benefit – so that ultimately we will be free! Free to be real and secure in the reality that we are accepted and loved unconditionally. We don’t have to be perfect. No person can give us this – so God allows us to flail and struggle so that we might reach for Him and find true strength. I haven’t yet fully attained this truth but I press on to take a hold of it…

  • Tristi Carlson

    Exactly what I needed to be reminded of! Thank you!!

  • http://bethandjimherring.com Beth Herring

    ” we only need to receive it..” Beautiful!

  • Mary Gait

    This confirms something I have wrestled with often. Thank you for the post. It speaks truth in love. May we walk in the freedom that we are loved by Almighty God Himself.

  • Beth Williams

    Holley,
    I do sign language to music for special music in my church. Each time I pick a song I try to give the congregation some emotion. I want them to really hear and think about the words. Should I bring tears to your eyes then I have done a good job. Sure a few compliments are nice, but I want to convey a message. I want to give them a good experience and joyful time!! I know that it is through God that I have this talent and I want them to see and hear God through me!
    Blessings :)

  • Cathy

    I can’t even tell you how much I needed to read this and how it spoke to me this morning. Thank you!!!