Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Impressions - People Pleaser

1 John 4:18
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

I’m a people-pleaser. I will go to great and varied lengths to “make someone happy.” I had thought this was a form of humility, but in fact, it is a manifestation of my pride. How is that? I please people out of a fear I will be seen in a bad light, or fear that things will go wrong, or fear of... you can almost fill in the blank. Fear of anything but God.

I even made pleasing God an idol. I knew God loved me, but I needed to please Him, lest He be displeased with me. I derived my worth from the ability to please Him. To rationalize it, I told myself, “God is not a ‘safe’ God, so I must fear His displeasure.” Every sin drove the point home that I had displeased Him yet again. Talk about depressing!

Yet Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross and wash me clean from my sin so I could live in fear and condemn myself. “Perfect love casts out fear...” (1 John 4:18) and God is perfect love. He isn’t safe... but He’s good. He said it on the cross, and He meant it: “It is finished.” (John 19:30) I am washed clean from my sin.

God’s pleasure in me does not increase or decrease and is never based on my actions; it is based in the fact that Jesus - God’s only Son - died for me. He claims me. This is where my worth originates, not how much I can please Him - or anyone else.

When I place my fear on God (on all of God, not just one facet of Him, lest I idolize a piece of Him), it becomes apparent He is far greater than anything I could ever fear. God is on His throne, and no one’s displeasure could ever change that. My God is greater. Period.

From where do you derive your worth?

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