do not become slaves of human beings…(1 Corinthians 7:23)
I have this issue, it’s called; people pleaser syndrome. It’s hard for me not to want to be a constant peacemaker and sometimes in doing so, I focus more on the requests of people and can’t always hear clearly the voice of God. It’s not that God isn’t speaking, it’s that I’m not filtering the voices correctly, because I’m operating from a place of fear and am worried about what those around me are thinking or feeling. Truth be told, even as I write, thoughts are racing through my mind of, “Heather, if you write this post, people will think poorly of you, they will question your walk with God and see you as someone who doesn’t have a close walk with God. They’ll view you as lacking wisdom, so don’t write the post.”
I’m not going to listen to that voice, because that’s a lie. I’ve learned more often than not, transparency is the best way to invite people in to share their struggles too.
Have you ever been led by things like; fearing the opinions of other people, caring a lot about what other people thought of you, or living in fear over the power someone has over you? I have.
Have you ever walked around with fear in your heart when someone else was present, because you were more concerned about their opinion than God’s? Here’s what I’ve found this does to me; it makes me do irrational things, it causes me to try and do the very best I can, to please the person I’m trying to appease. Of course, this takes my eyes right off of Jesus and onto an individual. It causes me to spend a tremendous amount of time living to try and drum up ways I can make this other person happy. This is an endless pursuit with no end in sight.
However, there is a loving God who calls us to become slaves of Christ. He is a master who is worth following. He is safe, strong and lacks no good thing. As we seek to appease Him, our hearts are safe and our minds are set upon the grace that is found in knowing Him and Him alone.
Have you ever been around those people who just don’t seem to care what other people think? I talk with my teens about this all the time, the importance of not caring what others think, not allowing the fear of people to dictate your life, but don’t even we as adults sometimes fall into the same trap?
“The fear of man lays a snare, but those who trust in the LORD are safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)
The word for snare in the original language gives us the visual picture of being caught in a bears trap. Here we are trying to live our lives, but caught up in a trap of lies, fearing what other people think, so we cannot move forward with God, because we are not living with His vision in mind, but instead, are living in light of our fears.
Also, the word “safe” in the original language means an inaccessibly high place. There’s something about being a slave for Christ that is the most freeing thing in the world. It sets us up in a place of safety in security. It springs us forth into His promises. We can walk freely, not fearing man, but resting victoriously in the grace of God.
Oh Lord, how I long to trust only in you and not man. I desperately want to be a slave for Christ alone. Today Lord, I’m confessing my inadequacies. I recognize, more often that I’d like to admit, I can be a people pleaser who cares more about the opinion of man, than being found in you alone. Lord, strip away the cares of this world from my heart that the only vision I might see is one of you! Abba, I need you! In Jesus name, amen!