Day 14

For they loved the praise of men rather than the praise of God.

John 12:43

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. Galatians 1:10

There has been some debate about who wrote the following prayer; it doesn’t really matter because it’s an excellent prayer to pray: Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be and becoming that person. If you want your life to be anything but simplified, be a people pleaser. Trying to please a whole lot of people will complicate and confuse your existence faster than anything else. Whether it’s because of peer pressure or the need for approval from a loved one, friend, or boss, trying to make everyone happy will cause confusion, fretfulness, unhappiness, and sometimes even sin. The first verse of the day is referencing rulers who wanted to confess Jesus but were worried that the Pharisees would disapprove. John says they loved the praise of men rather than the praise of God. Wanting to please everyone in your life may start with good intentions - you want everyone to be happy. Or, your need for approval may have its origin in serious dysfunction that needs to be rooted out with the help of a spiritual advisor or counselor. Whatever the initial cause, it will pull you in a million directions until you are like pulled taffy being torn apart. And whether or not we want to admit it, tirelessly working to please people dethrones God from our lives. We can simplify our lives in this area by seeking to please God. Seek first to hear His voice on the many matters of your life. Read His word and pray for discernment and wisdom. If you are hearing two or more voices that contradict each other - find a way to shut them out and seek to hear the voice of God. Certainly there is balance. We cannot use this as an excuse to do whatever we want, no matter who it hurts, but if we are truly seeking God with sincerity of heart, selfishness will not be a problem. Learning what God wants us to be and becoming that person gives us confidence in knowing who we are and Whose we are - it’s just that simple.

Pray Psalm 100:

Make a joyful shout to the Lord all you lands!

Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of HIs pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

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