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High Expectations---I can't Please Everyone

6 years ago | 2625 Views


I Can't Please Everyone

"Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant." ~ Galatians 1:10


In our current culture, people expect us to respond to their requests with increasing speed and I efficiency. Whether it's a call, text, email, instant message, or Facebook comment, there's an understanding...no, an expectation...that we will respond.

I'll admit I fall into this as well. It appeals to my need to be needed. Someone wants my opinion or my help. At the very least, they want to connect with me. If they are willing to share their lives with me, my desire is to respond. Promptly. With creativity. And a bit of humor, if you please. But honestly, it's exhausting.

Dealing with the expectations of others is especially hard for us as Christians. It's impossible to meet everyone's needs. There are no firm lines between our private and public lives, and it's turning some of us into people-pleasing maniacs. Sadly, this is self-sabotaging behavior.

Jesus identified a similar people-pleasing tendency in His disciples. They were torn between obligations to others and obedience to Him. They wanted to follow Jesus, but on their terms.

Jesus challenged this line of thinking, and called them to a new level of obedience, one that forced them to choose what was most important.

When the demands of others threatened our immediate obedience, Jesus challenges us with the same unspoken question He asked His disciples: "Who are you going to please first?"

Without settling our hearts on the answer to this question, we end up with an over-whelmed and over-committed life. Our lives operate like a bumper car, crazily racing in one direction, only to crash into an obstacle and wildly turn another direction.

My life has felt that way at times. But my heart gained clarity and direction when I declared Jesus Christ to be my leader.

Now, please know that even though I believed those words in my heart and spoke them with my mouth, it took years to bring every area of my life into alignment. It is still a process, and at times I have to check my reality against my intent.

Declaring Jesus as our leader breaks our bondage to the approval of others, and helps clarify our motives. Plus, it reduces stress as we accept the fact that we can't please everyone, and God never expects us to try.

Pray that the Lord who alone is worthy of following forgives you for having given into pleasing others, following others or comparing yourself to others. Ask for his help to help you overcome bondage to the approval of others but to mold you into an extra ordinary servant with an undivided heart.. That's my prayer.. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

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