As I was driving this morning, I was listening to the radio. In this instance, I was listening to Fox Sports Radio, and listening to some recaps of some football games yesterday. The host talked about two specific games, in which there was a somewhat similar situation in each game, but the outcome was a different. In one game, the coach gambled on fourth down, went for it, made it, and the team scored the winning touchdown. In the other game, the coach gambled on fourth down, didn’t make it, and as a result his team went on to lose the game. I will admit a few things. First, I didn’t see either game. Second, the situations were similar, but not identical. However, it illustrates the title of this blog. There is a thin line between genius and goat. If you gamble and it pays off, then they talk about you as being gutsy, smart, and a winner. However, if you gamble and it doesn’t pay off then you are a buffoon, a guy who doesn’t understand the game, etc. But what this really illustrates is this, if you live by the praise of man then you will also die by the lack of praise by man. One thing that Diana and I try to tell our children over and over is this, know who you are in Jesus, and live to please Him. We in this country have an epidemic of people-pleasers. Whether it is in politics, sports, movies, or school-aged children. As a result of this epidemic, mental illness, negative self-esteem, and even suicide find their ways into our headlines on an almost daily basis. There has to be a better way!
I believe Scripture gives us that better way. The apostle Paul in writing his final instructions to the church in Ephesus, deals with a lot of topics. Towards the end of the book of Ephesians, Paul talks a lot about the family. Then we see Paul drop this nugget on the Ephesians in Ephesians 6, “not serving when eyes are on you, but as pleasing men as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing any man does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is enslaved or free” (Eph. 6:6-8). Paul here is talking about who we as Christians should strive to please. We should do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, because we want to please God. In order to do this, we must first know who we are in Jesus. If we are going to break this negative cycle of people-pleasing, we must be confident in our relationship with Jesus. We must know what He says about us. We must care more about what Jesus says about us than what man says about us. Then, we must make up our minds to strive to please God, even if that means other people won’t agree with us or like us.
Do you know who you are in Christ? Do you seek His glory and to please Him, or do you find yourself on the constant merry-g0-round of trying to make others happy? If you’re not sure who you are in Jesus, reach out to a trusted Christian friend or your pastor. Allow them to share some Bible passages for you to read to remind you of who you are, and how you can live for the glory of God and to please Him in all that you do. With the world, their opinion of you can change by the day. But what God says about you, never changes. So anchor yourself in Him and His Word.