Friday, March 2, 2012

Pleasing God or pleasing people?

In recent weeks, I've heard and read some statements that seemed written in BOLD PRINT for my heart when I encountered them. I'll summarize those so you have the context of this post.
1. A wise friend in Alaska lovingly pointed out a long-standing struggle I've had trying to please people and that I too often live with concerns about what people think of my actions/decisions.
2. Last Sunday, our pastor said, "Every great vision will have critics...Run after the vision God gave you...There are no monuments to critics."
3. Two days ago, while reading a Bible passage, I was stopped in my mental and spiritual tracks by this statement - "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

I was grieved to realize in that moment I was a slave to people - anyone that seems to care or have an opinion about the pursuit of God's vision for my life. I know I very much want to be a voluntary servant of God (bondservant), but I've fallen into the trap of involuntary servitude to people far too often! When I let myself be consumed with what others think about my pursuit of God's calling on my life more than what God Himself has told me to do, I've chosen slavery to those people rather than to God.

Taken together, it is clear my current assignment from God is to wrestle through this habit and pull this "weed" up, roots and all, by the power of God working in me. I know the roots of this struggle were established when I was abused by a school teacher in second grade. I know the weed was watered along the way by events in junior high and high school. I know God has already begun a good work in me to pull this weed out, roots and all. It must be time to take the next step in that process of being made into the image of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

In Galatians 5:1, the Apostle Paul declares, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a joke of slavery."

Cooperating with God for victory,