‘I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.’ John 5:30 NIV
Know who you are trying to please. Jesus didn’t try to please everybody, so isn’t it foolish for you to try to do something even God doesn’t do? It was a settled issue with Jesus: ‘I’m going to please God, full stop!’
And God replied, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ (Matthew 3:17 KJV) When you lose sight of who you’re trying to please you’ll always cave in to three things:
(1) Criticism, because you’re overly concerned about what others think of you.
(2) Competition, because you’re afraid somebody will get ahead of you.
(3) Conflict, because you’re threatened by anyone who disagrees with you.
Jesus said, ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’ (Matthew 6:33 NKJV) By focusing on God’s will you simplify your life! You’ll always be doing the right thing, the thing that pleases Him, regardless of what anybody else thinks. We love to blame stress on other people and on our obligations: ‘You made me do… I have to… I’ve got to.’
Actually, there are few things in life apart from our jobs that we must do. So what we’re really saying is, ‘I choose to [fill in the blank] because I don’t want to handle the consequences otherwise.’ Rarely does anybody make us do anything, so we can’t blame other people for our stress. When we feel pressured, we’re choosing to let others put us there. The fact is, we’re not victims unless we allow ourselves to be pressured by outside demands.
SoulFood: 2 Cor 9:1–11:15, Matt 25:22–30, Ps 24, Pro 21:1–2
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023