Who are you pleasing?

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Photo by Austin Chan

After reading a great Christian novel (And the Shofar blew by Francine Rivers), having a very serious conversation with my daughter, and seeing a post on Facebook, it got me thinking – Who are we pleasing?

So many times I see women going out of their way to please others for different reasons. Maybe because they don’t want to be seen as mean or rude, maybe they are worried about how they look to other mothers/friends/coworkers/family, or it could be they think by not pleasing that person they will not be liked. The truth is, its all vanity. It’s sometimes selfish and it isn’t who we are supposed to be pleasing.

Now let’s get this straight pleasing does not equal giving. You can be a giver and not a pleaser. You can be a pleaser and it may look like giving but the agenda is something totally different. These things are not like each other. Also, pleasing is not loving someone (unless it lifts them higher in the Christian walk – more about that below). In fact, it can be totally the opposite of that and border on enabling depending on the situation.

My question to you is this – would you want someone to feel as if they have to please you to make you happy or would you rather they give out of love for you?

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

As I was reading for this post, I had the above scripture in mind. So I started looking at other areas in scripture where it talks about pleasing man and I found this one.

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. Romans 15:1-2

So now I had to back up and think – should we sometimes please people? What is this verse meaning? As I went on in the chapter to get a better understanding of what is being talked about I read this:

For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:3-6

The word pleased in this verse is talking more about doing something for the good; it is for the lifting up in their Christian growth. If you notice in verse 2 it says, “for his good to edification.” It doesn’t mean to please someone no matter what the cost, it means to please them so they grow in the Lord. Most of the time the pleasing I see from myself and others is NOT for the Christian growth of others.

Truth is sometimes I please so that I don’t have to deal with watching someone suffer. It is actually selfish. I see they have a need and instead of praying about whether I should meet that need or not I just jump in with both feet so that I can make them happy. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out so well. I wanted to please them so that I didn’t have to watch them go through a storm that God had intended them to go through for their good.

I have seen others be people pleasers to build up their self-esteem and worth. If they please everyone they meet by liking what they like and doing what they do, then they will have friends who speak highly of them. We should NEVER be looking to man for our self worth. People aren’t perfect – we are all broken – and we let each other down. Don’t look to people pleasing as a way to build up your self-esteem and worth. It is a recipe for disaster. Our worth comes from the Lord. He said we are fearfully and WONDERFULLY made. He died on the cross because He loved us. We don’t need people to tell us what we are worth and we shouldn’t be pleasing others for this reason.

Maybe you are one of these people that everyone comes to because you are the “fixer.” Consider this –  stop and pray about whether you should be the one doing this. People (and most not meaning to) will depend on you to take care of all the bumps in the road for them. I see this a lot with parents. I see this a lot in me. Before you fix, pray for guidance on how far you should go. Maybe you aren’t meant to do anything. Maybe you are. We can’t always make everyone happy (including our children). Sometimes watching someone go through a difficult time for us fixers is just as much for us as it is for them. It reminds us that we can’t fix everything and we need to go to our Father who can.

We can’t make every “boo boo” all better, but we can watch God do a fantastic work in the lives of our loved ones.

Look at the reason why you’re pleasin’.

 

If you need prayer, please click here. We have a group of Godly women who would love to join you in prayer. If you don’t know Jesus and would like to know how He can change your life, click here.

Be Careful with Your Heart

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Photo by Giulia Bertelli

BY SERENA SMITH & CANDIE BALDRIDGE

A Christian husband is priceless. The best thing is the Godly council they provide, especially in affairs of the heart. When you are in ministry or just in the world as a Christian, there are many times we can get hurt by people. Maybe they mean to do us harm, maybe they have no clue they have hurt us – but it happens. In these cases, it is so nice to have a Godly husband to go to and receive wise instruction.

In today’s world, finding a Christian sister you really bond with is rare. It’s unfortunate to have to say but true (there we go – keeping it real!). I know that both myself & Serena can tell you that finding a trustworthy friend you can pour your heart out to is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. When we finally find someone who we mesh with easily, we can start to share ourselves and our lives with this person far before we know their character. This can be a recipe for disaster.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  Proverbs 4:23

This verse doesn’t mean we should put a wall up and not allow anyone into our lives, it means we should have discernment on who we allow to know our lives and those with which we are just friendly. How do we get this discernment? How do we know when someone is trustworthy enough to know our lives?

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14

One answer – READ THE BIBLE! You will not be able to discern good from evil if you aren’t studying the word of God.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

We can not hear God when we aren’t hearing His word.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

We must read his word to have the discernment we need to choose Godly people in our lives. The only way to attain any of this is to know God through His word. The true bonds will just happen as we focus on God and our spirit connects with another’s spirit. Remember, friendship is a gift and we shouldn’t be so quick to give it away.

In addition, let’s not discount prayer. When you meet someone for the first time and you are really connecting with this person – pray. Pray that God gives you what you need to know if this person means good for you, is there to teach you something, or means evil for you and you shouldn’t give them fuel for the fire.

Lastly, always remember, the one friend we can rely on to understand and to not bring us harm is Jesus. Put your focus on Him and on His word and you will have the discernment to know good from evil and the faith to trust God in the process.

 

Serena Smith is a pastor’s wife, mother, and a grandmother. She has been a Christian for 31 years and likes to share her faith with others. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time cooking for her family, taking walks with her sweetheart, and playing with her 4 beautiful grandchildren.

If you have a prayer request, we have a group of Godly women who would love to pray for you. Click here to share your request. If you would like to know more about Jesus and how he has changed the lives of others and can do the same for you, click here.

God or His Stuff

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Photo by Jean-Pierre Brungs

BY SHARON MABRY

I must confess when I started my relationship with the Lord 11 years ago I was deeply in love with Him. As years went by slowly and unknowingly my attraction became more focused on His stuff and what He could do for me rather than on He, Himself, the Creator of the universe.

My world began to shake three years ago when my mother died from metastatic breast cancer. If anyone had faith for a healing it was her. If anyone prayed earnestly with supplication for a miracle it was me. And then she died; and I was angry. Where was the God who hears and answers prayer?

My anger was fueled a couple months later when, after seven years of infertility I became pregnant only to have a miscarriage. I felt like a pawn in a game and my feelings didn’t matter. He didn’t heal my mother and He gave me a child only to take it away. Although I got pregnant again right away and have two precious little boys now I was still angry that I had to experience that hurt. I pictured God on His throne sitting in a cloud of injustice, laughing at the devastating heartache He had created in me. I sincerely thought about walking away from Him at that point, but I knew in my heart, that His heart towards me was good. I would tell myself to remember the heart of God was good, even though I couldn’t see His hand.

I started looking for answers. Why didn’t God heal anymore? Why did the God of today look so different from the God of the Bible? I thought that everyone got their healing because they had faith as a mustard seed, that they really had this immense joy all the time because the answer was always yes. I found out sometimes the answer is no.
I had opportunity to talk with my pastor one day after service just a few months ago and got real with him and asked why he thought we don’t see the miracles today like they did in the Bible. His answer, “I think in that time people were following after Jesus more than they were praying for comfort.” I instantly had a peace that I hadn’t had for a long time.

That is what I’d been doing. I’d been praying unknowingly with the wrong motive, I’d been praying for my comfort. I wanted my mother to live so I wouldn’t have to experience the hurt of loosing her. I had finally gotten peace about not having children only to experience a miscarriage, never mind I got pregnant again and had a precious little boy. I had been acting as though I was entitled to never feel hurt, to have all my prayers answered because I was a child of the most High, because I was ‘someone’. I wouldn’t listen to the Lord, so He, in all His love had to forcefully remove me from my high horse; and it hurt. He loved me enough to say no so that I could get back in right standing before Him.

I got back into the Word, I had to find out who did God say He was. I went to the gospels to look at the life of Jesus as he demonstrated the Heart of God to the people here. In Luke 5:17-25 a man with palsy was lowered through a roof by friends for a healing and Jesus forgave his sins. He didn’t heal him at first although that was what was sought after. Jesus healed him to prove to the Pharisees that He had power upon earth to forgive sins. Jesus took care of what was most important first, not this man’s ability to walk, but to have his sins forgiven so that he could live in freedom. This man got both, but sometimes the healing doesn’t come. Sometimes all we get is freedom, and that’s okay because after all, isn’t that the best part? My mother wasn’t healed, and I experienced heartache, but she was set free, why should I grieve for that? She got the best part.

Then I read in Mark 6:45-55 that Jesus sent his disciples to cross the sea while He went alone to a mountain to pray. Jesus had just fed the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fish, then we pick up in verse 48:

And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed them by.”

Stop there. Jesus saw they were in trouble, they were doing something He told them to do, and He was going to walk by! Seven years of infertility, fours years into it I finally get peace just to have a miscarriage three years later. I was toiling in that boat and you were walking by. Why? In verse 51-52:

“…and he went up unto them into the ship; and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.”

Maybe, my heart had hardened…maybe I’d become entitled, maybe because I unknowingly had fallen in love with your stuff, maybe because I needed to spend an evening at sea toiling with the winds to remind me that it is only when God steps into the boat, into my situation with His Grace that the winds become calm. My heavenly Father loved me enough to send me out onto the troubled sea so that I would give him opportunity to step into my boat so that when I come to the other side I can say, that I know Him. Verse 54:

“And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,”

I’ve recently learned, that sometimes the answer is no, that it is good for me to experience life and all the hurts that it has to offer. That God is not my self-help genie to protect me from all things uncomfortable, but that He is my Father and He loves me, and He wants to mold me into the best individual possible so that I can contribute in this life and not just consume. That means sometimes the healing won’t come, and the night will be spent toiling, but when the fourth watch has come, He will step into my situation and the winds will cease, and I will know Him even more because the storm is what brought Him into my boat.

 

After a childhood of abuse, the Lord delivered Sharon Mabry from a life of alcohol and drug abuse as well as self-mutilation. Sharon is a walking testimony to the power of grace and love through Jesus Christ. She joyfully serves the Lord as she stays home to raise her children.

As hard as it is…

 

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A sister of mine said to me more than once, “you should start a blog.”  Truth is, I’ve never been too much of a journal kind of gal. I get bored way too easy and I run out of things to say. HOWEVER, I find that when I blog I study more. I get in the Word, I look for scriptures to match what I’m feeling and I learn something. So if no one ever reads these, at the very least I’m getting in my daily devotions.

Funny thing is, I get all caught up in my grammar. I’m so afraid I’m going to end a sentence in a preposition (which by the way I do all the time because I can’t figure out how to word it without it. <—-see!). But I figure y’all will understand I’m no grammar teacher and overlook my failings.

So here I am; a blogger. Weird. God has a way of getting us out of our comfort zones when we follow Him. Look at Moses.

 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. Exodus 4:10-12

If God will do that for Moses, He will do that for me. I plan on continually following the Lord’s leading outside my comfort zone so I can grow and be more like Jesus.

I pray you will do the same.

Happy Blogging!