This topic on ‘iCrave Validation‘ is part of our 2024 Retreat theme ‘iCrave’. The passage we are referring to is Galatians 1:10.
Let me start by defining what ‘Validation’ means, so you can have a better understanding of the discussion.
The validation we are referring to is the inherent desire to be acknowledged and accepted by others. It involves having our emotions, perspectives, beliefs, etc., recognized. It is about having someone who will listen to us, understand us, and treat us well.
As growing up we all are either under-validated or we are over-validated.
Being “under-validated” means not receiving enough acknowledgment, acceptance, or recognition from others. It refers to a lack of validation of one’s emotions, perspectives, beliefs, and experiences. This can lead to feelings of being unheard, misunderstood, or unappreciated.
On the other hand, being “over-validated” means receiving excessive acknowledgment, acceptance, or recognition from others. It refers to a situation where one’s emotions, perspectives, beliefs, and experiences are constantly validated, often to an extreme degree. While validation is important, over-validation can have its own set of challenges.
Then there are different types of validation as follows
1. Physical Appearance Validation
Physical appearance validation refers to the validation and recognition of one’s physical appearance by others. It involves receiving positive feedback, compliments, and acceptance regarding one’s physical attributes, such as beauty, attractiveness, or style.
2. Emotion Validation
Emotion validation refers to the recognition and acceptance of one’s emotions by others. It involves having our feelings acknowledged, understood, and respected. When we experience emotional validation, we feel heard and validated in our emotional experiences.
3. Social Validation
Social validation refers to the recognition and acceptance of one’s social identity and behavior by others. It involves seeking approval, acceptance, and validation from social groups or communities. Social validation is closely tied to the desire for belonging and acceptance within a particular social context.
4. Performance / Achievement Validation
Performance/achievement validation refers to the recognition and acknowledgment of one’s accomplishments, skills, or abilities by others. It involves receiving validation and appreciation for the effort, talent, and achievements in various areas of life, such as work, academics, sports, or hobbies.
As we grow older we all somehow develop a coping mechanism to deal with issues related to validation as follows.
- Seeking Constant Reassurance: Relying heavily on others for constant reassurance and approval. This can lead to a cycle of dependency and a diminished sense of self-efficacy.
- People-Pleasing Behaviors: Constantly trying to please others at the expense of one’s own needs, leading to burnout, resentment, and loss of personal identity.
- Social Withdrawal: In response to under-validation, some individuals may withdraw socially, avoiding interactions due to fear of rejection or feeling unworthy.
- Substance Abuse: Using alcohol, drugs, or other substances as a means to cope with feelings of inadequacy or to enhance feelings of validation.
- Overcompensation: Engaging in boastful or exaggerated behaviors to gain attention or validation, often seen in cases of over-validation.
- Perfectionism: Striving for perfection in an attempt to avoid criticism and gain approval, often leading to anxiety and a fear of failure.
- Aggression or Hostility: Some people might respond with anger, aggression, or hostility when they feel undervalued or overly criticized.
- Dependence on Social Media: Excessively using social media for validation, such as obsessing over likes, comments, or followers, can lead to decreased self-esteem and increased feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
- Self-Sabotage: Engaging in behaviors that undermine personal success or relationships, often due to a belief that one does not deserve success or happiness.
- Negative Self-Talk: Indulging in critical, negative self-talk that reinforces feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness.
- Eating Disorders: In some cases, issues with validation can contribute to the development of eating disorders, as individuals may seek to control their appearance to gain approval.
- Impulsive Behaviors: Engaging in risky or impulsive behaviors to feel validated or to cope with feelings of low self-worth.
We must remember that coping mechanisms that are not based on the truth of God’s word, but instead rely on human efforts, will always fail us.
In Galatians 1:10, Paul is defending the truth – the Gospel truth. It is a narrative that has the power to completely free us from the validation syndrome.
And in this verse, he is also expressing that the truth does not require validation from anyone. As a servant of the Lord, he feels a responsibility to safeguard the truth at any cost.
Earlier in the chapter, he expresses astonishment that the church was turning away from the true gospel to another gospel. He has already mentioned to them that the gospel he preached was not a man-made idea, but received through revelation from Jesus Christ, the son of God.
The gospel truth he was defending can be explained in the following five chapters.
In the Bible, the creation story is described in the book of Genesis. According to Genesis 1, God created the heavens and the earth in six days. Here is a summary of the creation account:
1. Day 1: God created light and separated it from the darkness. He called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”
2. Day 2: God created the sky by separating the waters below from the waters above.
3. Day 3: God gathered the waters below to form seas, and dry land appeared. He created vegetation, including plants, trees, and fruits.
4. Day 4: God created the sun, moon, and stars to govern the day and night and to mark seasons, days, and years.
5. Day 5: God filled the seas with living creatures and birds to fill the sky.
6. Day 6: God created land animals, including livestock, wild animals, and creatures that crawl on the ground.
Finally, God created human beings in His own image, both male and female, and gave them dominion over the earth.
On the seventh day, God rested, setting it apart as a day of rest and blessing. This is known as the Sabbath.
The creation story highlights God’s power and wisdom in bringing forth the entire universe and all living creatures. It serves as the foundation for understanding God’s role as the creator and sustainer of all things.
The Fall refers to the event described in the book of Genesis where Adam and Eve, the first human beings, disobeyed God’s commandment and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This act of disobedience led to the introduction of sin and its consequences into the world.
As a result of the Fall, Adam and Eve experienced a separation from God and faced various consequences. They were expelled from the garden of Eden, their perfect and harmonious relationship with God was broken, and they were subjected to suffering, toil, and physical death. The Fall also impacted the entire human race, as all humans inherited a sinful nature and became prone to sin and its effects.
The Fall represents the brokenness and fallen state of humanity, as well as the need for redemption and reconciliation with God.
Redemption, refers to the act of being saved or delivered from sin and its consequences through the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ. It is the process by which individuals are reconciled with God and granted eternal life.
This sin separates them from God and brings about spiritual death. However, God, out of His love and mercy, provided a way for humanity to be redeemed and restored to a right relationship with Him.
Through His incarnation, life, death, and resurrection, Jesus Christ became the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. He willingly took upon Himself the punishment that humanity deserved, paying the price for sin on the cross. His death and resurrection opened the way for salvation and eternal life.
To receive redemption, individuals are called to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This involves acknowledging one’s sinfulness, turning away from a life of sin, and placing trust in Jesus as the Savior and Lord. Through this personal relationship with Christ, believers are forgiven of their sins, cleansed, and declared righteous before God.
Renewal refers to the process of being made new or transformed spiritually. It involves a restoration of one’s relationship with God and a renewal of the mind and heart. Renewal is considered a work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.
Renewal begins with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers are empowered to live a new life characterized by obedience to God’s commands and conformity to the image of Christ.
The process of renewal involves ongoing growth and transformation in various aspects of life, such as thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and relationships. It is a continuous journey of spiritual growth and maturity, guided by the Holy Spirit and the study of God’s Word.
Sanctification is closely related to renewal but has a more specific focus. It refers to the process of being set apart or made holy for God’s purposes. Sanctification involves being conformed to the likeness of Christ and living a life that is pleasing to God.
Sanctification is not a one-time event but a lifelong process. It involves surrendering to God’s will and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through one’s life. Through sanctification, believers are empowered to live a life that reflects the character and values of God.
Restoration/Glorification is the final stage of the believer’s journey of redemption and renewal. It is the ultimate restoration that takes place when believers are resurrected and transformed into their glorified bodies, fully conformed to the likeness of Christ.
In the context of glorification, restoration refers to the complete and perfect renewal of all aspects of the believer’s being. This includes the restoration of the physical body, which will be transformed to be imperishable, immortal, and free from any weakness, disease, or decay.
Furthermore, restoration in glorification involves the complete eradication of sin and the restoration of perfect fellowship with God. Believers will be freed from the presence and power of sin, and they will experience a deep and eternal communion with God, enjoying His presence in all His glory.
The restoration in glorification also extends to the entire creation. Just as believers will be transformed, the entire creation will be renewed and restored to its original state of perfection. The effects of sin and the curse will be completely undone, and God’s creation will flourish in its intended harmony and beauty.
In light of this gospel truth, let’s see how it helps us deal with our various types of validation-related issues.
Physical Appearance Validation
In Genesis 1:26-27, it is stated that God created human beings in His own image, both male and female. This means that every individual, regardless of their physical appearance, possesses inherent dignity, worth, and value.
Understanding that we are created in the image of God reminds us that our true worth and identity are not determined by our physical appearance. It shifts our focus from external beauty to the beauty that comes from within, such as our character, values, and actions. It teaches us to value ourselves and others based on qualities that go beyond mere physical attributes.
Furthermore, recognizing that God created the diversity of physical appearances reflects His creativity and intentionality. Each person’s unique physical features are a reflection of God’s design and should be celebrated rather than judged or compared. Embracing this truth helps us appreciate the beauty of diversity and promotes a more inclusive and accepting attitude towards ourselves and others.
By anchoring our understanding of beauty and worth in the truth of God’s creation, we can find freedom from the need for constant physical appearance validation. We can develop a healthier perspective on our bodies and focus on cultivating inner qualities, such as kindness, compassion, and character, that truly define who we are.
In the redemptive story of God, we see a profound demonstration of His deep understanding and empathy towards humanity. Despite fully knowing who we are, our feelings, emotions, and challenges, God willingly offers help and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.
We experienced the consequences of sin, including feelings of inadequacy, unworthiness, and the need for validation from others.
But God, in His infinite love and mercy, did not leave us in that broken state. He sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to reconcile us to Himself and provide a solution to our deepest needs, including the need for emotional validation.
Jesus, being fully God and fully human, understands the extent of our feelings, emotions, and challenges. He experienced the full range of human emotions during His time on earth, including joy, sorrow, anger, and compassion. He faced rejection, betrayal, and the weight of the world’s brokenness.
Through His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus offers us hope and healing. He invites us to bring our emotions, struggles, and need for validation to Him. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus offers us a different kind of validation, one that is rooted in His unconditional love and understanding. He assures us that we are deeply known and accepted by Him. In Him, we find solace, comfort, and true validation for our emotions and struggles.
Relying on Jesus for emotional validation frees us from the endless pursuit of validation from others. It allows us to find our worth and identity in Him, rather than in the opinions or acceptance of people. We can rest in the assurance that God’s love and acceptance of us are unwavering and unconditional.
As we embrace the redemptive story of God, we can find healing and freedom from the need for emotional validation from people. We can cultivate a deep and intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, who understands us completely and offers us the comfort, validation, and help we need.
In the light of God’s redemption and renewal, we find great comfort and assurance in the fact that He has accepted us as His sons and daughters and has included us into His family. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we have been reconciled with God and have become part of His kingdom.
This truth has profound implications for how we deal with the issues we face from social validation. When we understand that our worth and identity are rooted in our relationship with God, we no longer need to seek validation from others to find a sense of belonging and acceptance.
As members of God’s family, we are deeply loved, valued, and accepted by Him. He sees us as His precious children, and His approval of us is not based on our performance or what others think of us. Therefore, we can find security, significance, and identity in our relationship with Him.
God’s acceptance and love for us are unconditional and unwavering. We don’t have to constantly prove ourselves or seek validation from others to feel worthy or valued. We can find our ultimate validation in the unchanging love and acceptance of our Heavenly Father.
Moreover, being part of God’s family means that we are connected to a community of believers who share the same redemption and renewal in Christ. This community provides a supportive and loving environment where we can find encouragement, acceptance, and validation from fellow believers.
In this community, we can experience genuine relationships that are not based on superficial standards or worldly measures of validation. We can find acceptance and belonging based on our shared faith and the love of Christ that binds us together.
When we recognize our identity as sons and daughters of God, we can approach social validation from a place of confidence and security. We no longer need to seek approval or acceptance from others to validate our worth. Instead, we can focus on living out our true identity as children of God and extending His love and acceptance to others.
This understanding also frees us from the negative effects of social validation. We are no longer controlled by the opinions or judgments of others. We can navigate social interactions with grace and humility, knowing that our worth is already secure in Christ.
Performance / Achievement Validation
Through Christ’s performance, specifically His death and resurrection, we have been made righteous before God. This righteousness is not something we earned or achieved on our own, but it is a gift that comes through faith in Jesus.
In the gospel, we learn that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This includes our failures in meeting physical appearance standards or achieving certain goals. However, God, in His great love and mercy, sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins and to reconcile us to Himself.
When we place our faith in Jesus, His righteousness is imputed to us. This means that His perfect obedience and performance are credited to our account. We are seen as righteous in God’s eyes because of what Jesus has done for us.
Understanding this truth helps us deal with the issues we face due to physical and achievement-related validation. We no longer need to find our worth or validation in our physical appearance or accomplishments. Our value and acceptance come from our identity as children of God and the righteousness we have through faith in Christ.
Physical appearance validation becomes less significant because our true worth is not based on external beauty but on being made in the image of God and being loved by Him. We can accept and appreciate our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, focusing on honoring God rather than meeting societal standards.
Similarly, achievement validation loses its grip on us because our righteousness is not based on our performance or accomplishments. We can pursue excellence and use our abilities to glorify God, but our identity and worth are not dependent on these achievements. We can find contentment and joy in knowing that we are already accepted and loved by God, regardless of our achievements or failures.
In Christ, we are free from the constant pressure to prove ourselves or seek validation from others. We can rest in the assurance that our worth and acceptance are secure in Him. This frees us to pursue a life of purpose, using our physical bodies and talents to serve God and others, without being enslaved by the need for validation.
As we embrace the truth of our righteousness in Christ, we can find freedom, peace, and confidence in who we are. We can live with a renewed perspective, focusing on the eternal rather than the temporary. Our value is rooted in God’s love and grace, and that is a validation that surpasses any physical appearance or achievement validation the world may offer.
In conclusion, the topic of ‘iCrave Validation’ explores the inherent desire for acknowledgment and acceptance from others. It delves into the different types of validation, such as physical appearance, emotion, social, and performance/achievement validation. Throughout the discussion, we have seen how these forms of validation can impact individuals and the coping mechanisms that can develop as a result.
However, it is important to remember that true validation cannot be found solely in the opinions or acceptance of others. The ultimate source of validation comes from our relationship with God and His unconditional love for us. Through the redemptive story of God, we find freedom from the need for constant validation and discover our true worth and identity in Him.
By understanding and embracing the truth of God’s love and acceptance, we can navigate the challenges related to validation with confidence and security. We can find solace in the fact that we are created in the image of God, find emotional validation in our relationship with Jesus, experience acceptance and belonging in the community of believers, and rest in the righteousness we have through faith in Christ.
As we journey through life, let us seek validation from the truth of God’s word and find our ultimate satisfaction in Him. May we extend His love and acceptance to others, creating an environment where individuals can find validation and affirmation based on their true worth and identity in Christ.