Tuesday, April 24, 2012

People Pleasing

Do you live to please people or to please God? I know I have to pray daily that the Lord would
help me to seek Him first, above all else.  I cannot please everyone all the time anyway! Why bother trying? I love this quote: "I know full well that the world will never see me the way God does, and I've stopped caring."  I can quote it...but do I really mean it?

I think about all of the horrific examples in the Bible of people who craved the approval of man over the approval of God. For instance, King Uzziah was very successful (2 Chronicles 26:5) as long as he sought the Lord. God gave him success because he desired God's will above all else. But then pride got in the way and he began to seek the approval of others.

King U wanted to be in control.  He wanted everyone to like him and he wanted the power that comes when people think you are "the man".  He went into the temple where God specifically said only the priests were allowed to burn incense and insisted on doing it himself.  He wanted to be in control of everything and have everyone respect him.  He craved man's approval over God's, burned the incense anyway and immediately broke out in leprosy. He died, alone, outside of the kingdom completely separated from the people.

Thank God that when I have fallen into this sin of "people pleasing" I haven't broken out in leprosy!  I would have been dead a long time ago.  But there are some serious consequences of pleasing people over God. Here are a just few of them:
  • Hypocrisy
  • Living in darkness and isolation
  • Self-reliance
  • Paranoia
  • Lack of Discernment
  • Horrific Decisions
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Lack of Trust
  • Easily Offended
  • Bitterness
  • Compromise
  • Doubt
  • Confusion
  • Neglecting what matters most
  • Health Problems
  • Addictions
  • Pride
  • Frustration
  • Discontentment
  • Self-Loathing
  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Idol Worship
  • Souls are LOST because the gospel is not preached out of fear of rejection
That is just a few of the consequences, but I know there are more, unfortunately. Did you know that when you try to please a person over God, seek their approval or you take their "opinion" of you above God's, that you are actually putting them in the place of God in your life? This is called "idolatry" and it breaks the first two commandments! Nobody should have that power over you in your life but God. Nobody. Eventually, you will disappoint others because of unrealistic expectations that they will put on you. Don't be a slave to this! You cannot win, it is impossible. Break free!

Today, let's all pray that God will give us freedom from this bondage.  If, in pleasing others, we are not pleasing to God, we must recognize this as sin.  Let's realize that God's thoughts of us are pure, lovely, admirable, true, and holy. He will never turn His back on us, He will not put conditions on His love for us and even when we are not faithful, He will still be faithful to us! (2 Timothy 2:13). God knows full well that we will never be able to live up to perfection and He will never put unrealistic expectations on us. He knows full well we cannot possibly do it...that's why He wants to do it Himself, through us. When we allow Him to be first in our lives, when we seek His approval instead of others' approval, we find peace.

Galatians 1:10
Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant.

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