Who Do You Aim to Please?
I can greatly recall the times I’ve aimed to please different individuals in my life. For example, with my friends when peer pressure kicked in, even if I didn’t necessarily agree with what they were up to, many times I did it just to keep a friendship and to be accepted. I felt the same way about my first boyfriend in high school. My oh my! Instead of studying and doing homework, I was more excited about spending time on the phone with him and pleasing him even at the cost of losing my virginity. O.k., so you may be saying, “Coretta this is normal and that most people will or have experienced such things.” You know what, you’re right. My point is not to say that it is something wrong with us desiring to please each other. However, what matters is when we are pleasing them at the cost of our self-worth, morals, values, and God’s Word. I’m not sure if you believe in Him or where you are within your faith journey. Though, I strongly encourage you not to live another moment in bondage of living your life to please others when you’re not living to first please God and doing what’s right for yourself.
On the contrary, there are many appropriate circumstances where pleasing someone else should be at the forefront. For example, one of the goals/roles of a married couple is to do just that, please each other in love. They can’t afford to be selfish and just consider their needs being met. In this case, they include the needs and desires of their spouse. Back to my main point, we can’t afford to lose ourselves and what is right in the sight of God at the token of pleasing someone else. Keep in mind that this also should be so when it comes down to self-gratification.
Where to from Here?
Now, those of you out there that may personally know me, most likely know that I’m a JESUS FREAK. Yet, I was not always this way and I’m still a “hot mess” and have to revisit the surgery table of grace and mercy from time to time. In addition, as the Word of God encourages us to do so, I have to crucify my flesh daily through my personal time with the Lord. Within my spiritual journey with Christ, my whole perspective on pleasing others and myself has been shifted. For one, I know better now who I am and my worth. Therefore, I’m not focused on being accepted by others when I know it’s against what I really want to do and more importantly when it’s not the right thing for me to do at that time or if ever. Two, God is our great creator and our ultimate judge…He has the final say. When we aim to please Him first and foremost, He guides us into pleasing others in our lives as He sees fit. As such, no one and nothing should come before Him.
My devotions this week mainly came from the book of Galatians, where Paul refutes the Judaizers (who taught that Gentile believers must obey the Jewish law to be saved), and to call Christians to faith and freedom. In Chapter 1, Verses: 10-12, Paul states:
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Paul was basically saying that the old him would have been most caught up on pleasing men, yet now that he is a “bondservant of Christ” it’s not him or man he preaching from or that he aims to please. There are many other portions of scripture that speak to this topic like, John 12:42-43 where it reads as: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
The above two verses sheds light on one of the main reasons why I, you, and everyone else sometimes struggle with pleasing others. We want to be accepted, we want to be in with the new trends, we want the approval of others. This is what was going on with many of the rulers when it came down to believing in Jesus, even after they had witness and heard of many great signs and wonders, still they were caught up in going with the majority, and following the rulers who were most popular (the Pharisees). Like most of us have done several times, they decided to please man instead of God.
My final thoughts are despite the kind of world that we live in and how more focus is placed on us pleasing others and ourselves before God that is so far from how it is suppose to be. It’s actually supposed to be the other way around; we should aim to please him first and foremost. The peace and joy that comes when we live to please God first is priceless. The freedom from the opinions and approval of others is found in Jesus Christ. Lastly, I understand that we want to make good impressions, be accepted by friends, our loves ones, and even our teachers, that is human nature. Let’s try our best to keep the right mind set when we do this and strive to PLEASE GOD FIRST. At the end of the day, just like many other things in life, it’s a journey and process for us all. However, we can do this and God is always there to help us live a life that pleases Him because He knows it’s impossible to do it alone.
As always, it’s a pleasure and joy to kick it in the Coretta Speaks Life Blog Lounge. My prayer is that you would live to the fullest and accomplish all that God has placed you here on this earth to do. Keep pushing, keep believing, your best days are ahead of you.
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