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Friday, September 23, 2016

Focus on Pleasing God, Not People

In review of 1 Thessalonians 2:4b it says, “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts”

Bottom Line:
Speak to please God, not people. God knows your motives.

What this means to me:
When I speak and share, my purpose should be to please God and not to please people. God will always know my true motive.

God did not make me to be what somebody else wanted me to be. He made me to be me. If I’m to become all I can be, I need to refuse being defined by others.  I’m reminded in Hebrews 11:24, “By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” (NIV).

Moses experienced an identity crisis. He was born a Hebrew slave but raised as Egyptian royalty, the grandson of Pharaoh. When he grew up, he had two choices: He could pretend to be Pharaoh’s grandson for the rest of his life and live a life of luxury and fame and power. Or he could admit who he really was: a Jew. If he did, his family would kick him out to live with slaves the rest of his life. He would be disgraced and humiliated and live a life of pain and drudgery. If I was given this choice, what would I choose?

There seems to be a lot of people who are living lies. Trying to be someone they’re not. I’m reminded that Moses in his early life refused to live a lie because he was a man of integrity. He insisted on being who God made him to be against all kinds of peer pressure.

I need to ask myself, who am I letting determine my identity?

Without some frame of reference or perspective, most (including myself) will let the culture and media around say what we should be.  Todays verse reminds me that “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4b NLT).

The first resolution to make is this: “Resolve to not let other people/culture press me into their mold.”  Romans 12:2 in the J.B. Philips version reminds me, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” (Phillips)

Next, if I’m going to be what God wants me to be, I’m going to do what God wants me to do, and I’m going to fulfill the plan that God has for my life, not somebody else’s.”

Earlier this month I was struggling with my own identity and listed below is what I decided:

My identity is simply that as a child of God, made in his image.  My purpose in life is to show and bring glory to Him through my life and what I do. I am to advance what He thinks is important (people and relationships). I am to share and introduce Him to others He brings into my life. Let them see Jesus in me and let me see Jesus around me. I don’t need to base my life on an identity in a career, job or role. I am simply a servant who serves, illustrates the love of God and who works towards making a difference in the lives of others.  I am making this choice to conduct myself in this manner, and I will choose to think of myself in this context.

I believe that success in life will come from being exactly who I was created to be and nothing more.  Today, I will just live this out my identity statement from above.