Daily we make decisions as to what to do in our life’s journey, but before we ask, what will the people think about our decision, let’s ask, “What will God think about our decisions?”
If we are in a group we all know the pressure to just say nothing, to try to keep them “liking us.” I know I have felt that pressure as I have fallen into it at times. It takes work to learn how to do it and it’s sometimes a risk to step out and say something. That’s just the moment when we can learn what is really of highest importance to us. If pleasing God is number one, then we’ll speak up for God’s standards. If pleasing people is number one, then we’ll bite our tongues and say nothing.
Jesus had moments when He got wonderful feedback from the people he served. Why, because He was listening to the Father in making decisions. Then there were those other days.
Pharisees disrupted his teaching sessions with heckling questions. When He healed the sick and fed them, everybody wanted in. When he talked about the cost of discipleship, most of them just walked away. They abandoned Him.
How did He keep going when he didn’t get the appreciation and the positive feedback that we all crave? He had already determined right from the start that first he would do what pleased his father in heaven. Once that was settled in his mind, he had the ability to endure right through all the nonsense of the crowds.
When your day comes, when you feel like you just aren’t being appreciated like you deserve, that trying to please everybody just isn’t paying off, remember Jesus. Don’t worry about what people think. Worry about what God thinks and just keep right on doing what you should do.
Jesus showed us that we can say “no” to selfish indulgence. We can say yes to the word of God, which tells us that he will give us strength to do what is right, that he will bless our service and strengthen us every time we choose to do right.
Jesus showed us that we can say no to coercive power. He showed us the power of which heals, unites and builds up. Each time we reach out for reconciliation, with encouragement in love and servanthood, the possibilities of what God can do in our lives expands.
We will be tempted to worry about what other people will think. Will they think you are trying to show off? Will they think you are a fanatic? Will they think you dislike them if you point out they need to change to make their lives more useful. Give in to those fears and you’ll never be free to take a step of faith. The options for what God can do in your life will get narrower and narrower.
Jesus showed us that we can live for God, caring only about what God thinks of us. God will honor us and bless us and there will be space for Him to do great things through us.