Fact: I’m struggling with this…
How about you? Do you find yourself seeking the approval of others? Do you bend over backwards for people? Do you do whatever someone asks of you, even if it might not be the best for your sanity? Do you get sick to your stomach when you make someone upset? In all simplicity, making someone happy, or having people like you isn’t a bad thing. I mean, didn’t Jesus tell us to love our neighbor more than ourselves? Doesn’t that mean I should do all I can to serve people? So then why did Jesus tell me to do something so exhausting? Anyone feeling like me out there?
I like making people happy. I desire for people to like me. I don’t want to upset anyone. But I am exhausted trying to do so.
Being in the ministry you learn to serve and please people. You shy far away from upsetting anyone, because well, your family is there to serve the church body. So you say a lot of “yes” and very little “no.” However I think I have forgotten something. Jesus didn’t just say love your neighbor as yourself. He said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38) I think I often fall prone to mixing up these two commands. I have the tendency to put people before God. Have you ever allowed your relationship with the Lord to suffer out of filling your time up with service? Have you ever sacrificed your time with the Lord just to make someone happy?…Yep, I’m guilty. God calls us first and foremost to love Him. He should have our first, and best, when it comes to time and attention. How can we serve people without Him? (We can’t…that’s why I get so stinkin exhausted). Not only should God be your first love, but He should also be your ambition. Have you ever had your motive not come out of your love for God, but instead, out of your love for people’s acceptance?….guilty. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Our motive should not be our fear of man, but instead our fear of God.
So here is my endeavor:
I want God to be my first love. This means that I may need to schedule time in my day where I choose not to allow anything to get in the way of it. It means I may have to say no to some things, and that is ok. God should be my first love. I need to spend time with Him daily so that everything else in my life may flow out of my love and devotion to Him. When I choose to put others before Him, I am telling God that I can do it on my own, in which I really can’t. Therefore it is vital that He be put first.
Second, I need to check my motive for every “yes.” This means that I need to make sure that my motive is not because I want to please a person, but the Lord.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share you thoughts on this topic!