Most of us have watched a movie or television show with a scene filmed at an AA meeting. This picture of transparency always impacts me because it’s a place of humility where people recognize that they need help, encouragement, and accountability. It captures the raw truths that are buried deep inside a person’s being.
While I don’t struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol – I do struggle with a drive to continually act as “The People Pleaser” and I need support when it comes to overcoming this because I continue to fail on my own.
I am envious of friends who don’t let the opinions of others impact their decisions. I would love to always be 100% confident in who I am. My problem is that I care too much about what people think.
Our lead pastor recently encouraged us to do the 60 Day New Testament Challenge. I’ve read through the entire Bible before but I found it to be particularly refreshing this time. Some of my favorite passages stood out boldly on the pages – highlighted in various colors with hand written notes in the margins. And then there were other verses I found myself truly dwelling on for the first time. But, it was Galatians that struck me most because it’s a book that talks about this very struggle of pleasing the world.
Galatians is a letter in the New Testament written by the Apostle Paul to the churches in Galatia. The Galatians were beginning to care more about their works – those acts of Christianity that made them popular among others – than about their actual faith itself. In Galatians 1:10 Paul says “…Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of God.”
Paul is making this point: Our purpose as Christ followers is not to gratify people. It is to please God. This made me step back and really take a hard look in the soul mirror. How can I become more like Paul and less like the Galatian people? In typical God fashion that question answers itself in chapter 5 where we learn about the fruits of the Spirit.
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control.
These 9 familiar common nouns are the foundation of who I long to be. My desire is to have them woven together so tightly in my very essence that you can’t tell one apart from the other.
I want to be so consumed with loving people and having a joyful attitude and knowing peace that when others look at me they see Jesus. I want to demonstrate patience in my parenting and allow my three littles to feel kindness in every single word and action. I want God’s goodness to always carry my family through the difficult moments and I want my husband to know that my faithfulness is lifelong. I want friends to come to me in confidence because they know I will respond with gentle truth and I want to exercise self-control when feelings of anger and frustration threaten to take over.
It is not easy. In fact, it is a daily struggle. But God can do this work in me if I let Him.
If you’re like me and you struggle to always want to please others, then let’s overcome this together. Let’s be each other’s help, support, encouragement and accountability and allow God to transform us into believers whose pleasure comes simply from knowing Christ. Let’s be people who are not conformed to this world, or by the opinions of others in this world, but who are transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Let us find ourselves in God’s good, pleasing and perfect will even if it makes us unpopular or strange (or both!) in the eyes of others. Are you ready to stop giving your everything to others so that God can be your everything?