5th March 2009
I’ve just started a great new bible study, Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore about the Fruit of the Spirit. The first week is an overview of the book of Galatians, and I was just struck by some thoughts this morning in Galatians 1.
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. –Galatians 1:10
I am a people-pleaser. I always have been, and it’s been a struggle to turn that part of me towards Christ and seek His approval. Mothering is an amazing job, but I’ve found that it lacks the opportunity to hear the “people approval” that a people-pleaser needs. My kiddos don’t effuse thankfulness and graciousness for my laundry skills, playing with trains, and crafty projects. So I might pour some effort into making dinner, hoping that my healthy delicious meal will garner some “approval” from Brian. And as the “again-ness” of my days continue with dishes, laundry, preschool, cleaning up, and more mundane tasks, I feel more and more invisible.
But one thing Beth points out is that in the verse above, Paul starts out talking about approval but ends by talking about servanthood.
Approval and servanthood are connected because we become immediate slaves to the person(s) from whom we seek approval. Only One holds the future in His hands and knows your part in that future. Only One cares for you with a perfect and unconditional love. Only One can make “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28). Only One can safely, yes, glorioiusly enslave you!
If I keep my heart focused on God and his glorious invisible approval, my heart will be filled. But if I continue seeking my kids, Brian, and those around me to warm my heart with their accolades, I’m sure to be let down. And in the end, Revelation 22:12 reminds us that He will reward us according to what we have done. He sees, He knows, and He is blessed.