But how does one come upon deep, sincere, spiritual love when one is calmed only by the affirmation and attention of others? In Holy Scripture, we are warned against seeking the praise of mere mortal men (and women).
This becomes a difficulty in spiritual transformation since God wants to remove us from any self-centeredness that thrives on affirmation from others. So what kind of affirmation are we really seeking—that we are wonderful, precious beings (in spite of ourselves)?
When we pray to God, we usually ask that situations go in the direction that pleases us most. But God does things that will best promote His heavenly intentions—including showing up our false self-image and worldly affections (in fact, the Second Coming will be to destroy our false self-images and deluded self-worth).
Kindness can be external and internal. When we seek affirmation (in church or anywhere else) of our supposed self-worth, we forget there is a difference.
God’s heavenly angels have their focus on others—not on themselves.