Is Human Approval Really Necessary?

There is true satisfaction in recognizing the good we do and knowing that it is accomplished through the power we express as God's reflection. Just to know this will ultimately be sufficient reward without human approval. But at this stage in human development most of us seem to need encouraging acknowledgment of the good that we do. At the same time, the good we see manifested in others as a consequence of their reflection of God's power can only be truly meaningful to us in proportion as we are willing generously to acknowledge and express our human approval to them.

A few kindly words of appreciation do wonders. Often we respond and do even better. If we have worked hard at our job, or cleaned the house so that it shines, or produced a helpful idea as a committee member, even a slight acknowledgment or expression of gratitude will often set a seal on the good we have done, warm the heart, and provide the incentive we seem to need to go on to the next accomplishment.

But what if no acknowledgment is forthcoming? Can we do without it? Yes, but it often needs the development of our spiritual maturity and the overcoming of personal sense to enable us to do so. The more spiritually mature we become, the less we are dependent on human praise.

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Self-knowledge: An Essential
October 5, 1974

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