November 23, 2018
Last week I sat across the examining bed where my 90-year-old Mom waited for the doctor.
After a complete check-up, the nurse came in with a device to measure her eye pressure. A simple procedure that took seconds.
But the results nearly knocked me off my chair.
“Hmmm,” the nurse said, “the pressure in one eye is 54.”
Fifty-four? The normal range is between 15 to 20.
I pulled out my cell and requested transportation to her ophthalmologist.
Hours later, my Mom sat in his examining chair. “Chin here and forehead on the bar please,” he said. “The eye pressure is perfectly fine.”
The nurse at the previous doctor’s office used the incorrect devise, unreliable and pitifully inaccurate.
How many times have we done the same—use the wrong measuring device? Often, we look to the world to measure our sense of worth. We look to our job to bring fulfillment. We hope that pleasing our family will bring satisfaction. And we trust that pleasing our spouse will bring happiness.
Unaware, we use each of these as the device to measure our sense of contentment and fulfillment.
Why do we do it?
Because we want something in return. We hope the outcome will fill our need for validation.
But do we find it? Hardly. In fact, rather than gratification, disappointment comes instead.
What went wrong? Did we choose to please others before pleasing God?
I invite you to take the test.
Do you fall in these categories?
- With the best intentions dancing in your heart, do you put your trust in others? Careful because…“This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength. And whose heart turns away from the LORD. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; He will not see prosperity when it comes’” (Jeremiah 17:5-6).
- Does the validation and approval from those around you increase your self-confidence? “How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).
- Are you fearful others will criticize or judge you? “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25).
- Are you a people pleaser—eager to do what others want and expect? “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).
- Is pleasing God part of your daily plan? Do you share in Paul’s self-reflection: “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)/
Pleasing God first brings the ultimate pleasure for the heart. Serving others is the sacrifice that brings joy with no expectations in return.
Father, thank you for the wisdom to choose to please You above all. Guard my attitude from wanting to seek validation from others. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Whom do you long to please these days?
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