"It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery". Galatians 5:1
Idols and What/Who we Worship
Ponder: The American Christian hiphop artist Lecrae wrote, "if you live for people's acceptance, you'll die from their rejection." How many of us live out of this very wobbly foundation for life? Galatians 1:10 "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." There is a really vital part to this issue of people pleasing. To be Christ's servant you must not have pleasing people as your goal. The antidote is to this is to love God with everything your have and your neighbour as yourself. (Luke 10:27). All we do for others needs to flow out of God's love, flowing through us to them, not trying to get our need for acceptance met through people pleasing. This is so very easy to write/say but not so easy to live. We cannot control what others do or say to us. We cannot control what they think of us. Our foundation needs to be somewhere else, firmly embedded in our Lord. How do we do this?
Action: Firstly, grasp what God says about people pleasing. Proverbs 29:25: The fear of man brings a trap, but he who trusts in the Lord will be honored. Secondly, talk to God about your desire to love Him first in your life, cry out to Him for this every day. Say sorry (repent) of the times you have put people and their opinions first in your life. Ask Him to change you. When I get emotionally in a mess, because I have allowed someone's reactions to something I said really impact me, I have to stop and ask the Lord to step in to the mess, to heal what is going on inside me. I ask Him to help me not live out of my past of rejection but to live out of my security and safety in Him. I then have to choose to speak truth to myself, "the Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:6. Just as the apostle Paul trained himself in Christ to be content, we need to walk in training to transform our rejection thoughts into biblical truth.
Prayer: Lord, please help me walk with You today, bringing the toxic thought patterns, that have enslaved me for so long, to You. Sometimes, Lord it really hurts when someone says something derogatory about me. I don't want to be stuck there any more. Let me be disciplined to read Your Word, to sit with You and talk with You daily about these thoughts. I know You long to transform them and renew my mind to match Yours, for Your name's sake. Amen
Challenge: Put into practice the above choices every day, consistently, talking to God and reading His Word on a daily basis. Small steps, a few minutes, stopping when you recognise a wrong thought pattern, talking to Jesus about it, speaking a verse like Hebrews 13:6 out loud throughout the day. God bless you as you seek to follow Him.