So, can I tell y’all what I have been wrestling with lately?
There I said it. And you know why I have been wrestling with insecurity? My mind and spirit have been unsettled because I have been caring way too much what others think of me. I have been feeling nervous and lacking confidence about my ability to do my new job. I didn’t know why I was feeling so down and dreary and overwhelmed—unable to enjoy my many blessings—until I sat at the feet of Jesus and let Him call me out. First, He got my attention with this in the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker:
“I thought about Jesus, who never angled for credit, ever. In fact, He had the most perplexing habit of telling people not to talk about His awesomeness, how He healed and saved. Jesus always deferred glory, redirecting people to one another and toward His Father and Spirit, who was to come. What Jesus didn’t do was complain the other rabbis got more temple time or had better synergy.
I am commissioned to be a light, but I can’t illuminate this world while competing with the lights of others. I mean, really? It isn’t possible to miss the point any worse. Together we are a city on a hill. When one of us shines, it is a community victory. If we all lived radiantly, we simply couldn’t be hidden any longer. This is not about individual wattage; our power is communal, or it is meaningless.”
And then, He brought this to mind:
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24)
And then it became clear to me what my problem was; I was trying to please the world and all its people when all I really had to do was please God. It seemed so silly and so simple all at the same time.
We spend so much time worrying about, evaluating, conjecturing, and imagining what others think of us that it wears us down and makes us into a shell of the person God created us to be, when really all we have to do is make the next right choice.
We don’t have to please all the people all the time…cause we can’t; We can long for their approval, their “Atta-girls”, but they might not give them. We can, however, focus on obeying God with all that we have. We can study His Truth so that we know what pleases Him. And then, we can take all that energy that we were using to live up to other people’s expectations and sink it into adoring Him. We can choose to serve Him alone as our Master. And we can, as my friend Lynn says, quit trying to manage other people’s impressions of us.
That’s God’s job.
And He thinks we are “very good”.
Rest in that assurance today…and revel in your audience of ONE.
I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.