I have struggled with pleasing men in different degrees. I would like to think that as I age in “Christian years” and “in deeper learning” the degree of man pleasing would decrease day by day.
But I came to realize that it isn’t a particular season or length of time that builds maturity, but it’s the right or opportune moment that works it out.
In the seasons of my life, I have received certain measures of success: In my High School years, in the field of sports and in speech competitions; from college to mid 20’s, in the area of music; in my late 20’s to my early 30’s, in the corporate world. As a Christian, I have dealt with man pleasing in most of these seasons, but through it all, I’ve had the privilege of men exhorting me to be humble, rebuking me for my arrogance in many instances, and teaching me to fix my eyes on God for that much-needed pat on the back. I thought I was completely delivered from it… Until I entered into full time ministry.
In my earlier years in full time ministry, at some point I got lost in pouring out my heart and soul into pleasing people. As if the burden was on me to make people happy. It was as if I had something to prove. All that was really exhausting and I found myself stressed, physically sick always, grumpy, etc. All this because no amount of back patting satisfied me. So I strived to perform for more.
I had a terrible case of amnesia. I forgot that in my pursuit for pleasing men, Someone greater than all of men is already pleased. I forgot that when I received Him as my Lord and Savior, He already smiled down at me from the heavens. Oh what a terrible case of amnesia!. The classic case of idolatry.
I’m not ashamed of what I’ve been through because I believe that in sharing with you my weakness, you would learn that insecurity can hit you from the blind side if you’re not careful in remembering that God already is pleased with you because of what Jesus has done on the cross. The truth of the Gospel has the power to build your security. And insecurity challenges you in different seasons of your life. You may now be parenting a teenager, entering a college, being the new guy in the office. With new seasons come unchartered territory, And one of man’s greatest fears is the fear of the unknown.
At the height of the newness of your season, what would make you secure is the truth that God is already pleased with you. That should lead you to worship Him with your work/ministry and not perform to win the hearts of men.
But I do believe that as you respond to how God sees you, through your example, men will want to know about your “secret”. And when that time comes, go and share what the Gospel says … through Christ, God is already pleased.