August 25, 2013
The Only One You Need Acceptance From
Many people, including myself, have spent a huge part of their lives trying to please others to gain their acceptance and approval. But since becoming a child of God last April (2012), I have since learned that it is not only a waste of time but not the right way to live either. You can either be a people pleaser and live life the way others want you to and be miserable, or you can be a God pleaser and live life God’s way and have more peace and joy.
I have always been one of the people mentioned above because I am sweet and I want people to like me. Of course, there are people who will never like me no matter what I do to try to change their mind. It took me most of my life to figure that out. It is the same with you, there will people you will never be able to please and who will never like you or accept you no matter what you do for them. What is hardest is when it is family members who don’t approve of you and whom you cannot please or win over no matter what because nothing you say or do is right or because you dare to have your own opinion that clashes with theirs and they believe they are right and you are always wrong when you are not in agreement with them. Being a people pleaser is exhausting because if you are trying to please everyone, you will get pulled in several different directions and still not end up pleasing everyone. If you’re not careful, you could lose your sense of self (your true identity – who God created you to be) and you will be miserable trying to keep up with other people’s expectations and demands of you.
You can make the decision today to stop being a people pleaser and to be a God pleaser. The good news with being a God pleaser is that he has already accepted and approved you because he created you and he loves you unconditionally. Once you realize this key concept (about God’s unconditional love for you and approval and acceptance of you for who you are right now), then you are free to let go of the misery of trying to please others and let go of trying to live the life they want you to live and start living the life God has in store for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God has an amazing plan for your life!
What could be better than living your life for The One who created you in his image, loves you unconditionally and accepts you as you are right now, flaws and all? Does living your life for the Lord come with hardships? Yes, we will have to endure difficult situations. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” But think of it this way: Isn’t it better to suffer for doing good so God can reveal to you how strong your faith is than to suffer for sinning or if not because of sin then because of others who are not children of God who have unreasonable expectations and demands they place on you? If you keep reading 1 Peter 1 up to verse 9, it says, “[At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” When you suffer for following Christ and living a life pleasing to God, you will be rewarded with an eternal life where there is no pain, sickness, sadness, and all of your tears will be wiped away (Revelations 21:4).
At Bible study on Wednesday night, one of the ministers said that “We (children of God) are privileged because we can always call on God and he will always answer,” in response to something a fellow brother (church member) had said about how “you can always call on God and never get the busy signal and without a cell phone,” or something along those lines. The minister teaching the Bible study went on that, “We should not worry about acceptance from non-believers. We should expect acceptance from our Spiritual brothers and sisters, and if not, then we can tell God on them.” He was saying that a true believer, a fellow brother or sister in Christ, will accept you because Christ tells us that we are to love others as he has loved us. Christ loved us so much he died for our sins so we could be saved and was raised three days later so we could have a right relationship with God.
Other people may expect you to work just any job and consider you lazy, a free-loader, or something else that does not define you and is not a characteristic you have just because you don’t have a job or are between jobs. Yes, it tells us in the Bible to work hard and not to be idle, but having a paying job that pays money does not necessarily mean that you are working hard in doing the Lord’s work. It is good to have a job where you are earning money, but you need to depend on God and not on people for your needs. If you are working a job that makes you miserable, then save up to quit your job and to do something you are passionate about (whether it be writing, cooking, acting, owning your own business, science, etc.) and while you are saving up, put some time aside to do what you love doing so that you don’t have to “wait” for the “right time” to start doing work you actually enjoy doing. Whatever you love to do is what God placed inside your heart for the work he intends for you to do in your lifetime on earth in alignment with his plan. My point is that God does not want you to be working yourself to death in a dead-end job where you barely make enough money to survive just so you can provide a roof over your head, pay your bills, and eat. God wants you to do the kind of work that will serve him, help others, and make you happy and prosperous. And if you are blessed to be working, there will always be something else that some people will find wrong with you. But God will never do that to you. God knows all of your flaws and sees who you have the potential to be (the person he created you to be) and loves and accepts you as you are now.
You need to surround yourself with people who are living their dreams and doing work they love to do so that you can feel loved, supported, and inspired to pursue your dream job or career. People with genuine faith believe that you can work doing something you enjoy while still working hard and serving the Lord and that God will provide all of your needs. Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and to live righteously and he will give you everything you need.” Until you can find other people who truly believe this, you need to tell yourself to believe it and trust God and lean on him. Be a God pleaser and not a people pleaser or self pleaser (living selfishly for personal gain and for the wealth of the world) because when you store your treasures up in Heaven instead of on earth, God will protect them and they will be waiting for you after Jesus’ second coming and you have made it to the eternal life that is promised to those who believe and are saved. Take a deep breath in relief that the only One who’s approval you need, you already have and that he loves you unconditionally and wants you to live a long, healthy, prosperous life filled with joy, peace, love, and other good things that come from being connected to him through the Holy Spirit (I encourage you to read Acts 2:38 to find out how to receive the Holy Spirit if you don’t already know). If this sounds like the kind of life you would like to be living (and you have not already made the decision to do so), then make the decision now to follow Christ and live a life pleasing to God, knowing that you are accepted by him and have the potential to become the person he created you to be, which includes victory and success in every area of your life.