The Gift of Validation

Validation. Everyone needs it. Hardly anyone gets it. Yet it is the very thing that most people crave. More than sex. More than money. More than drugs.

I’m not a psychologist, but I think it’s safe to say that most people who have an unhealthy craving for anything are really craving validation. Why is it so hard to get?Ultimately, our validation has to come from God. Parents, bosses, spouses, and even friends will disappoint us. They have their own issues.

But God is the one Person who is wholly other-centered. He made us in his image and delights in us. He stubbornly loves us even when we are unlovable. If that’s not validation, I don’t know what is.

So while I want to look to God for my own validation, I want to be a validator to others—a reminder of God’s good intentions toward them.

I want to affirm that God is for them not against them. That His plans for them are good. That He has given to each person I encounter unique gifts, talents, and strengths. May God give me the grace to see it and acknowledge it. This is leadership in action.

That’s also the beauty of the short film above. I hope you will take the time to watch it. It’s sixteen minutes long, but it’s well worth it. It was was written by Kurt Kuenne and is the recipient of a number of film festival awards.

It reminded me how easy it is to validate others. It means so very much and yet costs so very little. I can’t think of a better gift to give to others. Can you?

Who are you going to validate today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://lovinthearts.blogspot.com/ LauraLee@Selah

    Oh YES, how true is this? I don't have time to watch the video right now, but your words alone are full of wisdom. I have always been one to easily validate others, so I often crave it myself. When I'm walking surrendered to the Lord's way of thinking, I'm focused on Him and others instead of how anyone else views me. Excellent post.

  • http://lovinthearts.blogspot.com/ LauraLee@Selah

    Oh YES, how true is this? I don't have time to watch the video right now, but your words alone are full of wisdom. I have always been one to easily validate others, so I often crave it myself. When I'm walking surrendered to the Lord's way of thinking, I'm focused on Him and others instead of how anyone else views me. Excellent post.

  • http://the-walrus-said.blogspot.com/ Janet

    Ah, but there's validation and there's empty praise.

    Once I was doing some side-by-side translating at a banquet at an international event. As we were leaving the banquet hall, a member of the audience came up to me with a bright smile and said, "You did such a good job!" I swelled a bit. "Oh," I said, "do you speak French?" "No," she said brightly. I deswelled. I still haven't figured out exactly what she thought she was complimenting.

    I guess she just wanted to make me feel good, which was very sweet, but her compliment was empty. A puff of Dream Whip, with no substance.

    The power of a meaningful and justified compliment should never be underestimated though. I've sometimes gone months or years on the strength of one of those. And while I tend to be a bit sparing with mine, I've seen my kids beam with pride when they earn them. They know that I don't hand out compliments unless I've got good reason to and even if they are rarer, they've got a fantastic shelf life. (None of that, "Of course you'd say that, you're my mother.")

    Not trying to be difficult here, just looking at the issue from another angle.

  • http://the-walrus-said.blogspot.com Janet

    Ah, but there's validation and there's empty praise.

    Once I was doing some side-by-side translating at a banquet at an international event. As we were leaving the banquet hall, a member of the audience came up to me with a bright smile and said, "You did such a good job!" I swelled a bit. "Oh," I said, "do you speak French?" "No," she said brightly. I deswelled. I still haven't figured out exactly what she thought she was complimenting.

    I guess she just wanted to make me feel good, which was very sweet, but her compliment was empty. A puff of Dream Whip, with no substance.

    The power of a meaningful and justified compliment should never be underestimated though. I've sometimes gone months or years on the strength of one of those. And while I tend to be a bit sparing with mine, I've seen my kids beam with pride when they earn them. They know that I don't hand out compliments unless I've got good reason to and even if they are rarer, they've got a fantastic shelf life. (None of that, "Of course you'd say that, you're my mother.")

    Not trying to be difficult here, just looking at the issue from another angle.

  • Dave Aldrich

    That was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • Dave Aldrich

    That was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

    I totally just watched that video for TJ Thyne AKA Dr. Hodgins from Bones, but it was AWESOME. Thanks for posting!

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

    I totally just watched that video for TJ Thyne AKA Dr. Hodgins from Bones, but it was AWESOME. Thanks for posting!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/dewde dewde

    My nephew is the only (half) black member of our entire family. He is being raised by white folk. The question of validating his role in the family, and validating him directly, sort of blind-sided me when he was about 5 years old.

    I wrote about it here:
    http://bit.ly/tlx42

    peace | dewde

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/dewde dewde

    My nephew is the only (half) black member of our entire family. He is being raised by white folk. The question of validating his role in the family, and validating him directly, sort of blind-sided me when he was about 5 years old.

    I wrote about it here:
    http://bit.ly/tlx42

    peace | dewde

  • http://www.faithbarista.com/ FaithBarista Bonnie

    I L-U-V this post. My total "hot" button in ministry and life, in general.

    If only we could validate as much as we criticize, how much brighter and happier our world around us would be.

    If I could err on the side of love, why not? I say. Take a risk. Love and validate someone TODAY. 1 Cor 13.

    Thanks, Michael!

  • http://www.faithbarista.com FaithBarista Bonnie

    I L-U-V this post. My total "hot" button in ministry and life, in general.

    If only we could validate as much as we criticize, how much brighter and happier our world around us would be.

    If I could err on the side of love, why not? I say. Take a risk. Love and validate someone TODAY. 1 Cor 13.

    Thanks, Michael!

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonWert JasonWert

    IMO, lack of validation in someone's life can slowly starve someone's spirit to death the same way lack of food will starve the body. I've been giving my wife validation in a new venture she's working on.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JasonWert JasonWert

    IMO, lack of validation in someone's life can slowly starve someone's spirit to death the same way lack of food will starve the body. I've been giving my wife validation in a new venture she's working on.

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  • Jeroen

    Thank you very much for this inspiring post!

  • Jeroen

    Thank you very much for this inspiring post!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DerekDRobertson DerekDRobertson

    Wow, I am a person who needs a ton of Validation and just the need to feel imortant. It took my wife quite sometime to figure this out and pinpoint. When she did it really helped our relationship but also helped me to try to stop depening on other peoples validation and of course to look to God for that. Cause as always we disapoint each other.

    Tnaks for the reminder

  • http://www.embracepositivepassion.com Georgiana

    Validation, encouragement, support all filled with positivity is what we all need in this world! I’m so thankful for my loving family and close friends who have been with me through both good times and bad. God is gracious in providing when we are in need and his Word is a genuine validation beyond all measure! :-)

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  • http://paulbooks.blogspot.com Paul

    Amazing video. Thanks for sharing. 16 minutes of my time well spent. God bless you!

  • Anonymous

    I love this video…it has been awhile since I watched it…thanks for the reminder to validate others!

  • http://www.pursuitofHisbest.com Andrew Allen

    What a great video and great lesson. Made me smile :-)

  • Vwmashni

    unbelievable video..def worth the 16 minutes.

  • http://pauladavispeace.com/ Paula Davis

    This was incredibly inspiring to me. I work at the front desk of an orthopaedic office and this makes me think of all the opportunities I have each day to validate others. I’m going to make this my mission from now on.
     
    Michael, thanks for sharing, and for inspiring others with each post you write. God uses you in my life and I’m certain he does in others.
     
    blessings to you!
    Paula
     
    http://www.pauladavispeace.com

  • http://www.christianrayflores.com Christian Ray

    Insightful video. My wife Deb is my biggest validator. Ultimately we all long for the big “…well done”, don’t we? 

  • Sean Heritage

    Absolutely love this video and your message.  I have always been a big fan of validating others and this post is a short story about how someone else validated me when I didn’t think I needed it.  Boy was I wrong…

    http://seanheritage.blogspot.com/2012/05/personal-validation.html

  • Justin Johnson

    I would say my mom is the biggest validator I know and while I wish she would read this, this will not be my validation of her.  Instead I am going to validate my friend Heather.

  • Janet I Mueller

    Amazing video Michael, thank you for sharing. I believe we all want validation from time to time. Its natural to want to feel liked, appreciated and accepted by other people.  Being a God pleaser though in my opinion is more important than being a people pleaser. Of course, like many I too care what others think but not to the extent that my value is compromised. Our value is not determined by other peoples opinions of us. God is for us and that inner peace we have is unshakeable. God loves us equally and unconditionally. He loves us when we perform well and on those days we goof up. Nevertheless, I agree it is certainly wonderful to receive validation from others. What’s important to pay attention to, is that we do not hinge our self worth on other people’s opinions of us.  After-all who are they to judge one way or another. They have their own issues/challenges to deal with. Our focus should be on what God thinks, we all know in our soul who we are and we know what’s pleasing to Him. I love to encourage and inspire others as a priority. Yes I am open to receive validation and humbly receive it anytime it comes back, yet I give and serve from the heart and without agenda. Blessings to you and Gail, thanks again for sharing Michael have a wonderful weekend! 

  • Catherine

    I loved it and signed up immediately to your regular emails..thankyou

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  • tracy

    hello, i thank you for your site. I just randomly thought of typing in a gift of validation and your site is what came up. my church every month holds a validation day for our ladies. i think its a great idea, because as close as people may seem, there are always somethings that never are shared. Sometimes we intend to show others how much they mean to us, but somehow do that very poorly. I will watch the video, because i know that God led me to this site for a reason. Thank you so much! 

  • Gary Shipman

    Wow, this is awesome. You’re a beautiful man, you should make movies!

  • http://flatcreek.com/ Allen Fuller

    I tried to put this into practice today by sending several #FF messages in Twitter. For each person I suggested my followers follow, I included a reason why I like and respect that person. I included competitors, colleagues, and just people I look up to. The response has been really great. Several people wrote back to say ‘thanks’ and even had conversations with each other. A fun way to share a little of this spirit with busy people who may not feel Christ’s validation on a regular basis.

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  • Faith quotes

    I have lived a long life and had many troubles most of which never happened

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    However, some, who struggle with mental health issues, who seek validation will never get healthy. I’ve had expereince with someone with extreme OCD, anxiety and other mental health issues. An inpatient counselor said that by craving validation the patient wants to be told that they’re okay. This keeps the patient in denial and keeps them from overcoming their disabilities. Praise and validation can be helpful in some cases, but can make some feel entitled in others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamajo7 Janine Joi

    I take validation to mean ‘listen’. Everyone wants to be heard, everyone wants to be listened too. Rarely do those that encourage and listen to others, get listened to themselves. If people would take the time to listen to others, Christian or not, people would be so much better off. Maybe make that our act of kindness for a week? A month? Really listen to someone.

  • Tanya

    This is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! That video made me smile so much and your words brought a smile to my heart. Thank you for the work you do and for your witness. It really has been an influence in this forty-something stay-at-home, insecure mom and wife’s life. What a blessing!