12, December 2012

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Take the Stress Out of Serving God (1)

‘…Am I trying to please people?…’ Galatians 1:10 NCV

Whether we are ordained ministers or lay people, we aren’t exempt from stress. A deadly combination of traits, seen frequently in those serving God, produces inferiority and perfectionism – traits that make us obsessive-compulsive performers who think we’re inadequate and that our service is never satisfactory. As a result we become: (a) Over-responsible: We think we must do everything ourselves. (b) Irresponsible: We think nothing we do is acceptable so we shouldn’t tackle anything. (c) Uncertain: Vacillating between (a) and (b), we feel like losers either way we go. Understand this: it’s the stress we generate, not the demands of the service, that wears on us. And nothing stresses us like people-pleasing! Paul says, ‘Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ,’ because he’d previously lived for people’s acceptance. Now he found himself unable to be an effective servant of Christ and still worry about people’s opinions. People-pleasing must not be your motivation for serving, because: (1) It won’t work. Every vote you capture loses you others. (2) It makes you attempt the impossible. The more you fail to please people, the harder you try. So you get caught in a cycle of pressure, failure and discouragement. (3) You become the source of your strength. Jesus avoided this exhausting lifestyle. ‘…The Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing…’ (John 5:19 NLT) Only when God is your source, do your stress levels go down!

SoulFood: Gen 17-19, John 19:1-16, Ps 105:8-15, Pr 30:5-9

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2012

12, December 2012

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