What the ancients called ‘blessing’ we sometimes call approval or affirmation. The concept of the blessing is found extensively through the Old Testament and its counterpart is the curse. We are all embedded with some measure of need for affirmation. Each of us has been born with an embedded cry that says, “Like me. Love me.”
In the art of approval seeking, there are some common patterns of human behaviour. There may be more models, but let us look at four classic responders in their need to be affirmed.
Affirmation Seeker #1 Concealer
Adam and Eve give us an example of people who cannot deal with disapproval. The concealer is the person who believes more in shame than they do in correction. If they do something wrong, they will hide and cover up until finally confronted.
The concealer is quick to blame and redirect the need for change to someone else. Eve blames the Serpent while Adam blames Eve and God.
In failure, the concealer distances his or her self from those who given the most affirmation and approval. They do not have a secure sense of being able to find mercy. They will choose shame over the risk of restoration.
The concealer will cover up the truth with faulty reasoning. Ananias and his wife Sapphira wanted the approval that they saw others receive and lied to make them look more virtuous than they actually were.
The man who was given one talent buried the opportunity instead of taking a risk of doing something greater.
The concealer seeks approval by putting on a mask. They will not find blessing until they acknowledge their true condition and let go of their flimsy defenses. The concealer must face their fears of rejection and consequence. Future blessing and affirmation rests on their willingness to cooperate with God and people who confront their truth in love.