Whose Voice Counts?
This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
It seemed like any other recess in eighth grade. A group of us were all outside playing when it happened. I overheard a boy tell one of my friends that he didn’t like me. I was devastated. Now, this wasn’t someone I particularly cared for either, but the words stung all the same. Someone didn’t like me. To be honest, that had never occurred to me before. I went home that afternoon wounded and working to figure out what I could do differently.
I learned a very important lesson that day: No matter what you do, you will never be liked by everyone. Even more important is the lesson I learned later: The most important opinion to hear is God’s voice, not the voice of people. If you live your life trying to please everyone, you will only fail. Approval-seeking from others will only serve to get you in trouble. We must focus on what God sees in us and desires for us. That will lead to a life well-lived.
So what does God want from us? He wants us to live a life that is pleasing to Him and set apart. He wants us to love our neighbors, love ourselves and have an attitude of service to all around us. He wants us to recognize that we are no better than anyone else. We are equal in His eyes. He wants us to rest in His hope and strength. And more than anything, He wants us to know, that even when we fall short of His standards, He loves us unconditionally.
In all of us, there is a little girl or boy wanting to be liked. And that is not bad in itself. The danger comes when we make those opinions count more than what God thinks. God views us the same each and every day. We are His beloved creations, made in His image. There is nothing that can separate us from His love.
- In what ways have you gotten caught in the trap of “people pleasing”? How have you seen this hinder your relationship with the Lord?
- Who in your life are you making “perform” for your love? How can you show them the grace and love of Jesus?
Psalm 44; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6
Kelly McFadden works with HomeWord’s radio broadcast and content teams. She and her husband Michael are the new parents of Campbell McFadden.