I sometimes find it radically difficult to please my husband … and my friends, and my parents, and the dog (actually, he’s pretty easy), and those I work for and those I edit for and … myself.
Ever feel like you’re a fragmented failure?
This complaint, or wise observation, is nothing new. Everyone has heard the adage, “You can please all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.”
But let’s get real–we all still try–and we all find it exhausting. I wonder too, if those of us who call ourselves Christians try harder than others to keep everyone around us happy. After all, we are called to honor others above ourselves and told that whatever we do for the least of these we do for Christ. We are also told that they will know we are Christians by our love–right? So don’t we have to constantly strive to evidence that love to them?
And then I’m tired. And then I fail. And then, I don’t really want to try again tomorrow. How are we supposed to do this?
I have found the incredibly simple key to relational bliss. Are you ready? You’re not going to believe how simple this is–not easy, but simple.
Quit trying to please everyone, prove your love to everyone, validate your Christianity to everyone. Just stop it.
Galatians 1:10 says,
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
I think Paul is going beyond the idea of simply trying to impress people, but actually admonishing us to drop our social standards, to ignore the typical expectations of us in each of our relationships. Then, we use all that reclaimed energy to focus on pleasing only one person–God.
But what happens if I forsake all my efforts to show my husband how much I am committed or quit worrying what my kids think of me? What happens if I quit trying to be the best of faithful friends?
What happens? That’s when you get it. That’s when it fall falls into place.
You see, when we please God, the fruits of His Spirit begin to grow and ripen. Suddenly, just by sheer proximity to the Savior we become more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, gentle, faithful and self controlled. By focusing with laser intensity on pleasing the Savior who is our righteousness, we become the kind of people we need to be in each and every other relationship.
You can study more about this topic with me by grabbing a copy of my book: Beyond Belief: Jesus Saved You, Now What?