Tuesday, November 3, 2020
I grew up in a people-pleasing family. I admit it was a little dysfunctional. I became a young man who deeply desired to fit in. I learned to quickly assess what I thought were the expectations of any individual or group and adapted to those expectations. I thought that if I could please the people around me, that I would be accepted. I worked hard to make people like me.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Want proof? Think about it from this perspective. When you develop a meaningful relationship with someone, it is based on trust. You need to know that the person you are with is consistent in their beliefs and behaviors. No one lasts long as a friend if they are always changing what they say or how they act depending on the people they are with. If someone’s desire is to be liked, they will fail at being a real friend.
Pleasing people to be accepted by them is dysfunctional. Pleasing people as an expression of your love for them is desirable. The latter is what Jesus declares about His relationship with the Father.
John 8:29 “And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”
Let’s evaluate why we seek to please God. There are three motivations.
- We seek God’s approval so we adopt the behaviors that we believe will please Him.
2. We believe we have God’s approval based on our salvation, but we must work hard to keep it by pleasing Him.
3. We live in God’s approval based on our eternal relationship with Jesus, so our attitudes and actions spring from a heart of love and therefore please Him.
Which one of the above motivations defines you? Ponder this, and correct any flawed thoughts that keep you from living in the freedom and joy of number three.