“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.” Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
Have you ever met someone who seems to “walk to the beat of their own drum?” Living without a television, wearing only second-hand clothing, and having never had a driver’s license, my friend Martina comes to mind. Most see her as an eclectic free-spirit, yet she has the biggest heart for loving and accepting all people and I’ve come to truly admire her unconformity, seemingly uninfluenced by the thoughts and opinions of others.
While I’ve learned a great deal from my friend, I have a fear of being cast as an outsider- rather, I want to be liked and accepted by everyone. I think many of us do. The way we act, the things we say, the choices we make are often highly influenced by the desire to be accepted by others. This then causes us to exaggerate, embellish, or even lie simply to keep up false appearances. In this process, we can lose our authenticity. Thankfully God has a better way for us.
God does not allow us to have two masters- rather we cannot be a servant of man and a servant of God. We cannot please both, we must choose. While man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. By choosing to receive God’s unconditional love, we can enjoy the freedom to be ourselves before Him.
Dear Lord, help me to align my heart with yours and let go of the useless thoughts and opinions of others. Help me to live for You alone. Help me transition from pleasing people to pleasing you. Amen.
This month’s devotion is written by Kim Afrank, a member of Sheridan’s Women’s Ministry Team, encouraging women to know, love, and serve God.