Day 20

Thursday of the Third Week in Lent

March 28th, 2019

Meditation
  • I am a people pleaser. I confess. I want to make people happy. I want people to like me. I hate conflict. It has been healthy and helpful for me to admit that I have a propensity toward people-pleasing. This is how I am wired. It is even more helpful to know that even though I may be a people-pleaser, I do not need to live a life that is consumed with pleasing people. You might read that last sentence and note the inconsistency or contradiction that might be present in my life. While there is tension and challenge, there is no contradiction. The greatest challenge is remaining truthful. You see, in order to maintain someone’s positive view of me, there is a strong temptation to be dishonest in order to protect that view. At the heart of people-pleasing is being consumed with how others view me.

    I can imagine that the apostle Paul wrestled with this dilemma of maintaining the positive way many people viewed him. He was a very influential teacher and missionary. Paul’s standing as God’s messenger of the gospel is undeniable, but in this short text, Paul hints at being a people pleaser at one time in his life. (If I were still pleasing people…). So, even Paul struggled with what others thought of him. But his identity in Christ trumped the need to please people. In this short verse, Paul reminds us that God’s approval is bigger than human’s approval. Yet, in this short statement, Paul highlights that what others think of us has an impact on our lives. Paul is adamant, that truth-telling and living an authentic life is fueled and steered by God’s activity and not endorsement or admiration of other people. As one who has a tendency to please people at all costs, I can tell you that embracing the truth that Paul declares in this short text has been one of the most freeing moments in my life. No longer do I grow weary in pleasing people, I live in peace, knowing I live in the loving embrace of a God who created me, blesses me and invites me to be a partner with him. That invitation is universal and without exclusion. May we all endeavor to seek God’s approval while living and sharing truth in love.

Scripture(s)
  • Galatians 1:10

    10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Contributor

Dion Frasier

Preaching Minister
Reynoldsburg Church of Christ

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