Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Impressions - People Pleaser

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 that 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 that 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 that 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.”  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.  That is where my worth is derived from, 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 that He is far greater than anything that I could ever fear.  God is on His throne, and no one’s displeasure could ever change that.  My God is greater.  Period.

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