Pleasing People or Pleasing God?
Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do—then do it with all your strength. —Attributed to George Washington
One problem that often stands in the way of a life of excellence comes when we live for people more than for God. We make people our standard rather than God. We do our jobs for those around us, we work for our family’s praise, we make our actions and choices in light of how people are going to respond to us rather than whether God is going to say that we are excellent. For example, we all have known a “Stacey,” someone who appeared to be the very model of a kingdom woman. Stacey was committed to serving in her church and in the community. She pursued excellence in all she did. Her house appeared effortlessly clean. Her children were well behaved. So what was the problem? It was her motivation.
Stacey performed for the eyes of others. She didn’t sneak into church to organize the Sunday school closets without making sure someone knew what she was up to. After serving at the homeless shelter, she’d mention it in conversation. Fearful of being judged by others, she angrily forced her children to clean up the house and themselves before company arrived at the door. Stacey’s choices and actions were determined by what others thought of her, not by God’s standard of excellence. The kingdom woman, though, wants most to please God. Striving to be excellent in God’s eyes is what motivates her. Yes, it may mean that she won’t always shine in the eyes of others, but her passion is to catch the eye of her God.
1. You probably know someone like Stacey. More important, do you recognize any of her in yourself?
2. What one thing can you do this week for the eyes of God alone?
God, I recognize my own temptation to appear acceptable to others. Forgive me. Teach me to disregard the opinion of others and seek Your approval instead. Amen.
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