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I have a lot of phone numbers that I don't recognize from people I don't remember. That's just the reality when you are desperate. You will take attention from anyone that will give it. That attention vanishes quickly when I fail to reciprocate.

I cannot tell you how many girls unadded me from Snapchat if they didn't hear from me within a few hours. Some would get one snap from me and block me. How am I supposed to have confidence when I am left on read, and the sent icon turns grey?

It was like I was looking for a treasure without a map. Or maybe I had the map but didn't know I was looking for a treasure. Either way, I had no idea where I was going. That's what happens when I chase sin. I end up wandering around mindlessly, hoping to fall back into some situation that will make me feel like I can hold it all together.

The last two relationships I had were doomed from the start. Unprocessed emotions were ignored as I tried to convince myself that being in a relationship will help me get back on track. I was like a ceiling fan after the switch was flipped off. Although there was no power to accelerate the downfall, I was still spiraling out of control at a slower pace.

I am the creation of the Creator that is turning to the creation to try and understand how to find validation. How stupid is that? If I were putting an office chair together, would it do me any good to call my friend and ask how to piece together the chair? Time would be better spent calling the company that designed the chair. Tim Keller in The Reason for God illustrates that we will not find fulfillment in the creation when we were intended to be fulfilled by the Creator. But I really thought that a product of the world, my lust and desire to be loved in the wrong context, would counteract my need for validation. However, it only exacerbated my need to feel like I have a purpose.

Validation is such a fantastic concept. The more we seek it, the less we find it. Our purpose is not subject to validation, yet we feel as if it is the strongest indicator of what we ought to do with our life. Without validation, I feel as if I am doing things wrong. Whether it be a relationship or schoolwork, I need a mark of approval to feel confident that what I am doing is the right thing to do. Nevertheless, I get tired of feeling like I am more of a robot than a human, only morally strong enough to do a masters work than do what I know in my heart is right.

The pursuit of validation is poison to the faith. We don't realize it is killing us until we have disintegrated internally. It does not operate as a sword upon which we fall, but it slowly erodes what we know to be accurate as it seeks to replace our innermost confidence with something that will please someone else. Consequently, we are unable to justify our actions because we no longer understand who we are living for, and the part that remains is beaten mercilessly as we sacrificially self-deprecate in hopes of murdering the guilt that penetrates our souls from our abandonment of self in hopes of finding earthly validation.

That pursuit will not cease in any aspect of our lives. It is why God will never be enough because we will always stand in the way of what He can do. It is not that bigger than God, nor are we stronger; we just don't really care what He has to say.

Today I recognized something that made me want to write this piece. The more I beat myself up, the less I let Christ do in my life. In fact, the more I beat myself up, the further I am from Christ. Some would argue that guilt is an important part of the Christian walk, but I would like to refute with the following statement: Those people don't know Christ. While guilt can be the catalyst in which we recognize the need for Christ in our lives, it can quickly become the obvious sign we do not trust Him.

I am a porn addict that lies, cheats, steals, and has done things I will forever regret. I am not earning my way into heaven. Just not going to happen. I have a life sentence based on my sins, so I am not going to get parole for good behavior. It's like when they knock someone's sentence down from 200 years to 150 years. It is a waste of time for the judge and defendant. But I do have a get out of jail free card that I don't deserve, cannot repay, and can never earn. Thank God it will always be about grace.

We are all going before the seat of judgment. If you want to debate if God is real or if evolution disproves God that's fine. We can have that debate. I prefer to ask Him when I meet Him, but we can kill some time until then. But on the day of judgment, there is not going to be an opinion question on how we judge ourselves. The fact of the matter is that when we judge ourselves and make the decision we are going to hell, we think we are the god of our life. We foolishly pursue our own validation. Look, if God asks "Do I deserve to go to hell?", let me tell you what I will say: Yes I, more than anyone else, deserve to go to hell. But I don't get to tell God where to put me. On the flip side, I won't be able to tell God, "You know, I feel good about myself. I have gotten to know myself, and I have done things that make me feel good. I know I have made mistakes, but gosh darn it, I am a great person." That won't fly either.

The reality is I will have to give an account for everything I have ever said and done. I cannot, under any circumstance, offset the sins I have done and will do. If I told every person about Christ and saved a million babies from a burning building and raised each to be the next Billy Graham while simultaneously curing cancer and solving poverty, it would not be enough. So some would argue why try? Because the grace that covers the payment I cannot afford makes me want to do more for God than I can even explain.

The truth is, even if I hate myself or love myself, I cannot validate me. My wife cannot. My children cannot. My friends cannot. My pastor cannot. Only God can validate who I am, who I am becoming, and who I will eternally be.

Instead of seeking validation to the point we think our self-judgment matters, I think we should turn to the One who invited matter. He is the way and the truth the life. The alpha and omega. The One who was and is and is yet to come. The One who gives us grace we don't deserve. The One whose validation defines part of who we are now, but who we will fully be when our mortal bodies are traded in for a sinless soul in eternity.

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