My Name is John, and I am a Recovering Approval Addict

Dearest Friends,

As a child and teen I struggled with what has commonly been called low self-esteem or lack of self confidence. Basically it came from the fact that during my younger years there didn’t seem to be much I was good at which Satan used as an opportunity to make me believe I was worthless instead of God’s Child.

Thankfully the Lord revealed to me on Easter Sunday night 1992 that I am indeed not worthless or pathetic in any way, and He actually had in incredible plan for my life. Even so the Devil continues tempting me to view myself as a failure on the hard days and its still a struggle at the age of thirty-five and in all honesty will be for the rest of my life.

Thats why the Lord has placed a deep burden upon my heart for other Approval Addicts (I borrow this term from Lou Priolo’s book “Pleasing People” and “When Man is Big and God is Small by Dr. Ed Welch) who struggle with something deeper than not feeling good about themselves; an overwhelming desire to to loved and accepted.

This burden has led to write about the subject quite a bit on my blog http://www.australianmissionary.com, but recently the Lord began challenging me to do more. Soon the idea for writing a short story came into my mind about the journey of an Approval Addict from addiction to accepting who they are in Christ.

The idea of doing this frightened me since it would share my own struggle in a vulnerable way and I didn’t feel my writing skills where up to the task. But after arguing with God more than once the first pages of “A lifetime of Afternoon Naps” were written in early November, and will be uploaded to the website later today.

The beginning of this story deals directly with my struggles after graduating from College in 2000 (though the character is thirty-three) and how the Lord has helped me deal with the natural desire for acceptance in a way that honors him.

Most of you won’t find yourselves in this story but I pray it can clarify exactly what Approval Addicts experience so you can minister to their real needs. And to those of you who find yourselves in my story be encouraged that you aren’t alone and there is a way to break the chains on your wrists. Because of Who He is, John Wilburn

Published by

John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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