If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
I am not a servant of God. Why? Because I make a daily decision to please “man.” I make a daily decision to please myself, my friends, my professors, my coworkers, my family, and many other “men.” You may argue with me that I’m wrong, but isn’t it true? Isn’t it selfish to want to please people? At the core of pleasing people is a heart that wants to be noticed, loved, and accepted and our immediate reaction to our heart’s desire is to please people.
I am a terrible, terrible sinner. Some people are known for their excellence in science, literature, sports, and other things. Even if I have an ounce of skill in any of those areas, what I should really be “known for” is sinning. I wake up, put on my pride, walk out the door to my Christian school, go to my Christian classes, then my jobs on my Christian campus, and participate in my Christian school’s extra-curricular activities. All along the way, being dragged behind an enormous ego that is “too good” for some people, that is “too smart” for a class, and that is “too busy” to give any time to ministry. I find the people that actually mean something to my life and play them like a baby grand Steinway. I pretend that I’m really interested, that I’m loving, that I can handle anything that comes my way. I pretend these things so that I can please people.
When you and I realize that we are morally evil, dead to sin, and deserving of God’s wrath with no way out on our own, we begin to discover our desperate need for Christ.
I desperately need Him. It is then, at this desperation, that I realize it is Jesus that I should be pleasing, not men. It is at this desperation that I realize that being a servant of Jesus means some day sitting next to and praising my Savior forever. My whole existence revolves around a God who paid it all for me. Yet my daily life revolves around an overly prideful child who goes to dad when he needs something; myself. Desperation is necessary. Without desperation, I would die the same ignorant child that I was born as. Desperation for the God of Grace provides hope. It provides forgiveness for my shortcomings, insecurities, and lack of servant-hood towards Him.
The evil one is always at work. Attacking the people of God on a consistent basis. He is attacking me right now and he knows exactly where I’m vulnerable. He is attacking my relationships. He is attacking my time. He is attacking my insecurities. He is attacking my personal relationship with Christ. And I’m falling for every bit of it. I become so reliant on myself to get through tough times. When I do this, I begin to take my hands down from my face that Jesus so sincerely wants to protect, and leave my head wide open for the evil one to swing a right hook for the knock-out. Once I tell Christ to, “sit this one out, I got it,” I immediately have nobody to stop me from letting my pride take over. Vulnerability reaches a new high and I begin a destruction-bound plummet. This is when the evil one attacks, telling me that everything is hopeless and that there is no way to get out. This is when I believe that terrible liar and sulk in a giant pool of self-pity.
But… at the bottom of that terrifying pit is also when I realize that I am in desperate need of a God who can simply speak the evil one away. How does God not deserve my service? Why have I convinced myself that I’m doing “good enough?”
I am not worthy to be a servant of God. But that sure as heck doesn’t mean that I can’t give Him my all to try. I also have no idea how to stop trying to please men completely, but I know that it starts with pleasing God.
I pray, Lord, that I would stop seeking the approval of men and start seeking the approval of You. I pray that I would not fall into the evil one’s lies and that I would trust in You to take him down. I pray most of all that You would rid me of my pride so that both of these things are possible. Oh, how I need you, Lord.