2.04.2017

Pleasing God matters more.

Between reading God's Word,
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 
II Timothy 3:16,17

the work I am doing in my discipleship relationship,
And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:11-16

and this book,
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, 
I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

I.cannot.catch.a.break. The Lord has me on the wrestling mat, and like Jacob, I want to say, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." Genesis 32:26
And so, the match continues!

I had no idea this book existed until our pastor recommended it from the pulpit. I was sitting next to one of my sweet girls with whom I have shared many conversations on this very topic, so when Pastor Philip named the title we looked directly at each other and said, "We need that book!" And ordered it that day.

It never ceases to amaze me how often we see things in a one-sided fashion. We justify or deny a particular stronghold because we can only view it through one lens until someone comes along with a new lens and shows us what we could not (or would not) see before. Mr. Priolo does this very thing, without apology and with great passion.
I highly recommend adding this volume to your biblical resource library!

I have a feeling the two of us are not the only ones who battle the sin of "loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God" (John 12:43), so I hope these quotes from the first chapter will offer both a challenge and the encouragement needed to pull out the sinful weeds that seek the praises of men and replace them with godly roots that are content with pleasing God.

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The author lists ten symptoms that identify the sin of people-pleasing in the heart of a believer and states, "The presence of even one characteristic should be all that is necessary to convict a sincere Christian of the presence of a toxic level of pride in his heart."

Are you ready? Hold on tight, because it's going to be a bumpy ride!

"There are usually two sides to idolatry. The first side involves neglecting God. The other involves replacing Him with a cheap substitute. As with any other form of idolatry, the sin of people-pleasing also has two sides. Love of man's approval is accompanied by the flip side of the coin: fear of losing someone's approval or fear of being rejected."

"It's bad enough to inordinately long for the approval of others. It's much worse when such longings transcend one's longing for God."

"The love of man's approval is inextricably bound to the fear of man's disapproval."

"A people-pleaser is not a peacemaker, but rather a peace-lover. A peace-lover is so afraid of conflict that he will avoid it almost all costs. He is so concerned about "keeping the peace" with his fellow man that he is often willing to forfeit the peace of God that comes from standing up and suffering for the truth. He is essentially a coward at heart."

"His heart (the people-pleaser) so craves being held in high esteem by others (and to hear their praises) that little room is left to entertain thoughts of what he might do to acquire God's praise. In reality, pleasing God doesn't matter much to him because he is so intent on pleasing man."

"The people-pleaser overreacts to any hint of disapproval. He sees any constructive criticism or suggestion for improvement as a threat to his reputation rather than as an opportunity to grow or as an indication of the reprover's love for him. This oversensitivity may take the form of anger, bitterness, or hatred. It may show up in the form of withdrawing, sulking, or pouting."

"It's bad enough for a person to think he is responsible for the blessings and achievements in his life. It is far worse to use those blessings to promote one's own glory and reputation rather than the glory and reputation of the One who is truly responsible for them. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father..." James 1:17

"The person who loves approval invests more of his time, effort, thought, or money in establishing and maintaining his own reputation than he does in furthering the reputation of Christ."

"The people-pleaser is discontented with his status in life. Rather than being thankful for what has been given to him ... the approval-seeking idolator covets the honor-producing blessings that God has given to others. Perhaps the saddest thing about such a person is that he will never be satisfied, no matter how much approval he is able to generate."
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Brutal, yes?
Do not be discouraged!
Solutions and HOPE for a new way of thinking and responding will be presented. (not for a few more chapters <grin>, but they will come!)
Think on this beautiful verse in the waiting ...
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. I Samuel 16:7

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