who are we trying to please

My almost-6-year-old son lost his mind when his older sister had a friend over to play yesterday. He went spastic desperately trying to get her attention. He talked in a strange voice and pulled a plastic taranchula out of her ear. She wasn’t impressed. I even saw her yawn in the middle of one of his boisterous routines. Classic.

 

Always the Joker
flickr photo credit

 

But to be honest, I can do the same thing. I may veil my ways with politically correct maturity. I may not slap myself in the head to get you to like me. But deep down, my flesh still wants to please you. Deep down I have to fight to remember the why behind any of my actions.

 

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 have to consciously remember why I want my marriage to honor God or my home to stay (somewhat) clean or my kids to obey. Because it’s too easy to color the pretty picture just so you don’t point fingers or gossip about my choices. As if people have nothing better to do than think about you and me.

But if we dug up the root of all that striving for man’s approval, we’d find insecurity. Because when we aren’t secure in what our Maker says about us, we flounder around for the approval of people. We change our hair or give a look or grab the reins of control because we fear what they will think or say. And that’s not freedom.

Freedom comes when we live and dance for God alone. When we seek Him earnestly, with all our heart, and trust Him to take the lead. It may mean that kids run far and wide for a season. It may mean that people misunderstand us. It may mean that laundry stays piled in the hallway. But we can still live free, even in the messy, if our eyes remain on the One True Thing.

 
Fill me, Lord…

How have you seen this battle for man’s approval in your own life?
How do you overcome it?

 

For my Sermon on the Mount friends, we press on not to please people, but to hide His Word in our hearts. It is life to us! Much love to each of you!

{Week 23}
And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:16-18

 

  • Shana

    Amen

  • http://upinandout.com/ Francie Winslow

    Such a great post…thanks for leading in vulnerability. I am so thankful that it is for freedom that He set us free. I find that my “overcoming” happens as I allow Him to tell me His thoughts about me. And I then I sit with Him until I believe Him. His love and affections quiet the loud insecurities that scream at me most days. (Zeph. 3:17) It seems that it’s only His love quieting my heart that allows me to stop entertaining the voices of insecurity and instead live instead from a place of love.

    • http://www.larawilliams.org Lara Gibson Williams

      Thanks, Francie. Yes, freedom. It can be so challenging at times to remember truth when our flesh wants the approval of man. But you are so right — His quieting love.

  • http://http.mangotreemama.com/ MangoTreeMama

    Love you Lara! I can see my son in this post (our neighbor has a daughter the same age as some of my daughters, but no son to match up to my son!)… and myself!
    Once upon a time I would’ve staunchly delcared (& believed) that I didn’t care about pleasing *anyone*- that I do my own thing. And in a lot of ways, its true… I have my own “style”, I have blue hair because *I* like it, I don’t read what’s popular, or watch TV to get up with the latest… but when I learned to, like you in this post, ask myself WHY I want my children to obey, or WHY I want my house clean, or WHY I want my marriage to be Hallmark-perfect… Well, the answer was like a punch in the belly. Now I’m learning to let go of those expectations (mine, and what I perceive others’ to be), and to accept and rejoice in what I’ve been given, and to work on it with a better goal in mind than impressing others. I have an audience of One.

    • http://www.larawilliams.org Lara Gibson Williams

      Oh friend, you make me smile. And for the record, I love your blue hair. ;) I can just see your sweet boy putting on a show like mine did. Praying and believing that one day they too will live fervently before an audience of One. Much love, sister-friend.

  • http://www.thistemporaryhome.com/ Brooke Cooney

    Laura,
    As a fellow blogger I can wholeheartedly empathize with you here. I often struggle with un-Christ like worry over the content of a post or how it might come across. This is a fresh word from the Lord. Thank you for your gift.
    Brooke