Usually I write posts on here for myself capturing what God has been revealing to my selfish and slowly changing heart… praise God he doesn’t give up on us [Phil 1:6]. The last post I wrote received the most comments ever for a post … I think 4 🙂 [as a side note: I am always grateful and thankful for those who comment]. So here is a followup to that post. Obviously the last post was crafted in a way to hopefully challenge most people’s box (mine included), specifically an individualistic American mindset that ignores a love for our neighbor. I am sure there are some who really do struggle with “people pleasing” but my guess is it is a struggle with expectations. Instead of looking for eternal treasures they expect immediate reward by either being acknowledged, thanked, commended, or repaid [see Matt 6:1]. Hence, the problem with people pleasers is that they are short sighted. Nevertheless, they are half way there, in that they have a heart for others needs while also being willing to do something about it. My guess is that in general most Americans struggle with individualism not “people pleasing”, hence my last post. Ever since the fall we have drifted towards isolation and death failing over and over again at loving others and loving God. We struggle to really build close relationships caring about others deeply enough to deal with their bag of crap (not the bag of crap sold on woot for $5.00, the one we all carry around since birth that taints every decision we make… I think in Christianese it is called a “sin nature”). It is easier to be individualistic living in isolation (assuming somehow that a decently moral but apathetic life is pleasing to God) than it is to be a people pleaser. Maybe it is just me but I don’t like to love others even when I receive immediate reward and recognition. My problem isn’t “people pleasing” it is “me pleasing”. One commentator summed up my last post by stating we are called to be “God pleasers, People Servers.” Exactly! Christianity is not complex (even though some like to make it seem like it is). Christ summed up the entire law in one command “Love God, Love Others” [Matt 22:37-39]. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (i.e. Paul’s version of the Great Commandment) were the verses that inspired much of what I wrote in the last post. Living a life that is others focused probably means you’ll be taken advantage of… just plan on it. Don’t let that stop you though! It is the times that I know I am getting used, abused, and ripped off that I pray desperately for the other person, realizing I have no power to change their heart but can only be a reflection of the grace and mercy that I have received through Jesus Christ who was used, abused and ripped off for my sake.
Disclaimer: No promises except one… if you die you can be confident in the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:42).