If you didn’t get a chance to read my previous post- I pledge to stop defending myself– yet, you should. I’m sure many can relate with the post, and consequently in response to that post I got this from a friend, and after reading it I felt it was worthy being another blog post, so here goes:
We are relational beings, we were created that way. The animals in twos, and Eve for Adam. So it’s natural for us to care how we come off to people. The extent to which we care and the degree to which that care affects our behavior is where the rub is. If the care (or desire for affection) becomes an obsessive tendency for us to continually do/say things that we are not at ease with just to appease others, then we deny ourselves the essence of our uniqueness. In CHRIST, we have the HOLY SPIRIT to lead and guide us as we should do, say, and be. We also have the Word of GOD that outlines GOD’s standards for us. The percentage of people who have and follow both GOD’s SPIRIT and HIS Word (which really are one) is quite slim (even in the Church), so it makes sense that the actions and ways of being of the few who do follow GOD’s leading may be at odds with the majority. As you duly noted, it is our motto to live peaceably with people as long as it is up to us, and to honor everyone, and to love and bless even those who persecute us. Even in doing all of the aforementioned (which many of us fall short of), we will NOT please everyone. Case in point: perfect, sinless JESUS.
When we try to please everyone, we fall short of GOD’s standards and we lose our identity in HIM, to the world. I find that even great men fall and make grave mistakes because they care much what people think. Case in point: Saul. He gave an unlawful sacrifice (1 Samuel 13:8-14) because he felt that Samuel wasn’t coming on time, and in verse 8 the people were scattering from him. He was bent on the approval of people, he did not want to lose their support and so he did what GOD did not send him to. He did it again in 1 Samuel 15 when GOD told him to devote all the Amalekites and their things to destruction. Bending under pressure from the people (verse 21), he allowed them to take of the spoil, blatantly disregarding GOD’s direction. We see it again, and I think more conspicuously, in his relationship with David from 1 Samuel 18:6 on. He knew from the go, that David was special, that he was great. But it did not bother him until he heard the village women praising David over him. He cared too much about what people thought. So we see how caring too much about the opinions of others can bring even a great man down.
So, as I read your note, I thought, “this is a great note,” because I see a lot of sincerity and self-reflection in it. I will also be candid and say that I did the exact opposite of what you did. I had the “I’m just going to tell it as it is attitude.” For a while, in attempts to assert my ‘realness,’ I spoke carelessly and even callously to people, with the mindset that I was being ‘real’ when in retrospect, in actuality, I wanted commendation for my ‘realness,’ so I was, covertly, a people-pleaser at the end of the day. As I cultivated relationship with CHRIST, I realized, and am still realizing, the strength in speaking words that heal and encourage and edify. And there is nothing ‘realer’ (lol) than empowering someone unto life with the words that you speak.
The enemy is trick as I don’t know what though, because he still came back with the people-pleasing thing from a different route. I now found myself restricting myself when I had the desire or leading to do one thing or another out of reverence for GOD (e.g. kneeling down or lying down in worship), so that people wouldn’t think that I was holier-than-thou, or that I was showing off. Me…who “didn’t care” what anyone thought before. GOD handled that though, because HE knew it was something I struggled with. Now, every time I have the desire to do something out of reverence for GOD, the HOLY SPIRIT reminds me that it’s not about them, nor is it about me. And that when it’s all said and done, it’ll be me standing before HIM, and what they have to say won’t matter. My worship has been less restricted and I enjoy GOD’s tangible presence when I have no regard for how people perceive me and I just worship. And I think that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, sincerity of heart. As long as you know that the you behind closed doors matches the you displayed before men and is in right standing with the Great JUDGE, it matters little what they say or don’t say about you.
So, yea Moyo…I feeleth thee jare. Free yourself.
So back to you again, thoughts on this and the previous post? Do you relate with this?