Moving From People Pleasing to God Pleasing
So you can see we were not preaching with any deceit or impure motives or trickery.
For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know.
1 Thessalonians 2:3-5 (NIV)
How many of us have been guilty of people pleasing when we knew deep down it was not what God wanted? Why does this need to please people drive us to so much anxiety and pain? The answer is really very simple, but the act of following through with the answer is the very issue.
Take for example; a young wife is struggling with the unexpected demands of her new husband. Before the marriage, during courtship everything was wonderful almost magical, but as soon as the ring was on the finger –things changed. In an effort to keep things looking “normal” for the rest of the world to see, the wife changes her ways. The thought of “failure” is not in her vocabulary, so losing her identity rather than facing the fear of addressing the problems becomes paramount. Slowly, as the year’s progress and children come into the picture much more is at stake, so the façade continues growing. The expectations of others including family, friends, and even neighbors sets an invisible marker at which she believes she must maintain at all cost.
The façade now has become a way of life and her identity is somehow lost. The demands of the marriage, the children and “people approval” bring her to unexplainable anxiety and depression. Yet she knows, or thinks she knows, that she must maintain this façade to somehow get the love and respect of others. It becomes her greatest fear that if she does not maintain this deception everything that she has understood and built might very well come tumbling down. The foundation on which she has built her life is on very shaky grounds and it is only a matter of time before it begins to unravel.
Unfortunately, the very thing she fears most is the thing that happens. The young wife becomes old, her marriage dissolved, her children confused, and her identity lost somewhere many years ago. She finds herself at the bottom of the Pit –angry, anxious, alone and afraid.
This scenario is quite common in the world we live today; however, as believers in Christ Jesus we have the answer. The answer IS simple, but it requires the “faith in action” that many will avoid because they lack understanding, focus, and setting proper priorities.
When I reached the bottom of my Pit, now over 12 years ago, it was this deep dark place that seemed completely devoid of any help from anyone or anywhere. This hell on earth enveloped my entire being with fear and failure constantly lurking around every corner. The thought of ending it all became almost overwhelming. I too had built my life on a very shaky foundation.
It was not until I reached the bottom of this Pit, and even lingered for awhile, that I reached out to God and made a conscious choice to put Him first no matter what. The choice was simple, it was the “no matter what” that has tested me to the very core. This simple choice was my beginning of “faith in action,” walking, listening and learning from Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Thus began the journey of a lifetime –the personal journey with Jesus Christ. That was the most profound life altering decision of my life. It was to become the decision that not only affected me but all those around me, and even beyond.
This choice, this surrender to my own understanding, began the personal journey with Christ and the building of a foundation that nothing could shake. It still amazes me how this one simple decision could change the course of my life and many others.
Continued next week…
Simply Devoted to Jesus Christ,
Regina M. Dick
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