In the world but not of it

April 26, 2010

Your approval

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the LORD. Proverbs 29:26

You’ve heard the phrase “everyone serves somebody”. There is, however, another dimension of this thought that is not so much related to serving someone as much as it is related to pleasing someone.

Most people spend their life trying to please a boss, a friend, a pastor, a spouse…someone they want favor from in return. Their responsibilities and duties are often influenced by how the other person will respond or react to them.

This is why you will find many people frustrated in their work, in their relationships…because the emphasis is not on doing the job well but rather doing it for the sake of pleasing someone else. In the end we cry out like Isaiah “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.” (Isaiah 49:4)

Whatever our responsibility, duty or task is, the quality of the finished work will always be fair at best if our motive is to please a person and not Christ Himself. If my desire is to please the Lord with my work then I will find myself working with a greater level of awareness, being more critical of my efforts, having more integrity in how I go about completing it and joyful that it is for someone that loves me the way I am and not for the finished product of a task.

As people, we are selfish, easily distracted and often ungrateful. Without realizing it we place unnecessary burdens and pressures on others. At times our requests or expectations are unreasonable and yet others who want to please us go to great lengths to meet our demands.

If we desire the favor of another in order to get close enough to their lives to share the gospel then this is a good motive. If, however, that desire is for their approval then we need to plant Isaiah’s words above on our hearts and remember that unless it is for the Lord and in the Lord’s hands it is all in vain.

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