Grace Frees You From Trying To Please Everybody

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The simple fact is, you will NEVER be good enough for people. No matter how hard you try, no matter how much effort you put in, you won’t be good enough to meet the expectations and desires of other people.

  • You won’t be spiritual enough.
  • Your kids won’t be respectful enough.
  • You won’t be thin enough.
  • Your preaching will be too intellectual.
  • Your preaching won’t be intellectual enough.
  • You won’t have enough kids.
  • You’ll have too many kids.
  • You won’t serve on enough comittees at church or school.
  • You’ll serve on too many committees.
  • You won’t choose the right method of schooling for your kids.
  • Your kids will eat too much junk food.
  • You won’t go on enough dates with your spouse.
  • You won’t do enough devotional times with your kids.
  • You won’t have enough of the Holy Spirit.
  • You’ll have too much of the Holy Spirit.
  • And on and on and on.

Because you are sinful and you are human, people will always have a reason to criticize and judge you. Trying to constantly meet the expactations and desires of others is exhausting and miserable and futile. The harder you try, the more miserable you’ll be. Even if you get to a place where you have the respect of everyone, you then have to stay there, which is even harder than getting there in the first place.

The gospel allows you to stop striving and fighting for the respect and acceptance of other people.

Romans 8:33-34 says:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died?more than that, who was raised?who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

There is only one person who can legitimately condemn you or bring charges against you, and that is God. After all, God is the one who knows your every thought, desire, and motive. If anyone could condemn you, it is God.

But if you are in Christ, God absolutely does not condemn you or bring any charges against you! He accepts you, delights in you, treasures you, loves you, and cares for you. It doesn’t matter what others say about you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live up to the expectations of other people. It doesn’t matter if people criticize you. You have the full, unfettered, unhinged, unqualified love of God, and that’s all you need.

You can stop trying to be everything to everybody. You can get off the exhausting treadmill of people pleasing. You can let criticisms roll off our backs. Why? Because your worth and identity and security doesn’t come from other people; it comes from God through Christ. Your security and identity is not tied to your weight, parenting style, social group, diet, family size, or anything else.

The Judge of all the earth has already given his opinion of you, and it is decidedly in your favor!

Comments

  1. Beach says

    We must leave room, however, for others to lovingly confront when we are sinning or heading in the wrong direction. I realize that there is a difference between criticism and other respected people speaking into our lives spiritually. I think that it is as dangerous to live trying to please others as it is to think that we are so protected in God’s love and acceptance that we never need to listen to those spiritual people speaking into our lives. I believe some people hide behind this acceptance and defend even their sins.

  2. Barry Schneider says

    This is a great lesson Stephen. It is a lesson many in church leadership should consider or suffer ulcers, boils, and ear hair. In other words, grow old prematurely. There is a caveat to our freedom found in the grace of Christ and that is to not abuse our freedom by offending. The apostle Paul became a slave to those he was trying to reach. A Jew to the Jew and a Gentile to the Gentile. (1 Cor. 9:19-23) But in so doing you could also be extreme. Right? By getting lost in the culture you are trying to evangelize.

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