i don't claim to know it all. i don't claim to be perfect. i just claim to love jesus.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

people pleasing no more

on the way to my wildtree party on tuesday i listened to a great study by a guy named james macdonald. it was called: freedom from people pleasing, it's part of a set of cds that is called: free at last: breaking every chain. i grabbed the set for a friend who wanted to listen to something, and thought it was one i'd want to listen to, so i grabbed it for her. our local radio station is doing their fundraising drive and it's not so fun to listen to all the time. lol. so i took out one of the cds to listen to. i totally know i picked the right one.
i struggle with being a people pleaser. badly. i always have. i remember planning our wedding and trying to make everyone happy. that doesn't work. and in the end there are a few things i'd change because i planned them to make others happy and not myself. or even after having kids i try to do things with my kids to make others happy or please them because i'm doing them. i think i've grown the most in that part of it. i also try to make just people in general around me happy. in the end...leaving myself not so happy. i was really excited to see what God was going to show me on the way to my party and home. the cd is the perfect length for that. i got to hear the entire message. :0)

the scripture the lesson is based from is::
1 Corinthians 4:3-5 (New King James Version)

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court.[a] In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

he broke it apart for the message and started with emphasizing it is a VERY SMALL THING that i should be judged by you. (others) did you catch that a VERY small thing. not even a small thing, but a very small thing. yet too often i place too too much value and what others are thinking or judging me about. and yet, the scripture clearly states, it's a VERY SMALL THING. so think what you want, but in reality to me...it's a pile of beans in the scope of life. or it should be. and it doesn't mean i should go around telling everyone that. it just means you can think/say/do what you want...but it doesn't matter what you think of me. because it is a VERY SMALL THING. ((he made the whole church say that a thousand times...and of course i was in the van saying it too. lol))

the next part he went with was the 'i do not even judge myself'. huh. i thought. i do judge myself. a lot. i'm too fat. i'm too ugly. i need a haircut. i need to paint my toenails. i need a pedicure. i'm a bad mom. i look weird in this outfit...etc etc etc. but yet we're told to not even judge ourselves. really? we're not. i don't know. i know i've read 1 corinthians before, i love 1 and 2 corinthians. but i've never caught that line before. or at least it never spoke to me before. we're called/told to not even judge ourselves. i really think that line speaks for itself. we have to learn to not be so hard on ourselves. because we are 'wonderfully made'. God says so. so there. :0)

the end of the message was caring about what God thought of us. and pleasing Him and ONLY Him. of course in pleasing Him we will end up pleasing others...but our main goal, our main focus needs to be only to please Him. and to tell others that. he challenged us at the end of the message to tell our spouse/friend/kids/etc that...to not try to make us happy...but to live a life pleasing to God. that's all we want from them. and that truly IS all i want. to have my husband and my kids and my friends living to please God. not me. not at all. and in the end, i'll be pleased because a life pleasing to God is well...pleasing. :0)

he shared stories about judging. all too often i know i judge others. he shared a story about a man and his three kids on a train in chicago. the kids were CRAZY. running around the train. hitting each other. wrestling on the floor. disturbing other people. all while their dad just sat there. acting like nothing was going on. finally a man said to him...sir! are you going to watch you kids? or take control here? the man looked up and said. oh. i didn't notice. ((seriously? you didn't notice your brats dude? (is what i'm sure that other guy was thinking)) the man went on to say...we just left the hospital. their mom just died.

wooaaah. perspective change huh? i'm sure most everyone on the train was thinking they were going to spank the kids themselves. yet when you get 'all the facts' the story changes. you 'get' why the man doesn't notice. you 'get' why the kids are being crazy.

and that's what we all have to remember. 'the facts' no one, besides God, has ALL the facts. even if we think we know them...we don't have them all. so quit judging. quit thinking that mom with the kids crying has a brat for a kid. maybe the kid is teething and in pain, and the mom doesn't have medicine at home so she had to run out to get some to make him feel better. quit thinking that the pregnant (again...) mom with four kids (who probably all have different dads) behind her isn't married because she's not wearing a wedding ring...maybe her fingers are so fat she can't get the ring on. ((that has never happened to me...but i find myself wondering what people think of me when they see no ring on my finger and i have four kids and pregnant...but it's a VERY small thing.)) or quit thinking, heck SAYING 'i don't envy you' about that pregnant mom with four kids. because you don't know how much that small saying hurt after being so excited to be pregnant again after two miscarriages.

that last thing really did happen to me. yesterday. i sat in shock after the lady said it. and even though she probably didn't mean anything hurtful by it...it did hurt me. because...she doesn't know my story. she doesn't know how i'm still trying to move on from the miscarriages last year. she doesn't know how seeing all these april babies born take me to picturing my baby boy being born. so my friends, be watchful of what you say. even if you 'don't envy me'. don't tell me that. i don't care if you don't envy me. just remember you don't know my whole story. even as a blog reader, you don't know my whole story, even though i share a LOT, i don't share everything.

maybe it's blunt. but seriously. it's the truth. we don't know all of our 'whole stories'. so before you say something...seriously pray about it first. and then think about it. and then pray again...if you really should be saying it. yesterday i didn't really say anything back to the lady. i just stared. and then she went on about not knowing if she could go back to the baby stage...i guess normal 'mom' talk. i've never left that 'stage' so i guess i don't have to worry about going back to it. and that's pretty much what i said. and the conversation felt lighter...and was pretty much over. she clearly has no idea how much her comment stung, and may never know. but it made me realize how the little things i 'innocently' say may not seem so innocent to the ears that hear it.

so my goals are these things::
MINIMIZE thinking about what other think/judge about me
MINIMIZE thinking about what I think/judge about me
MAXIMIZE thinking about what GOD thinks/judges about me

and truly. God IS the judge. the scripture says it. God will judge. at the ends of our lives HE will be the one to look at us and judge us. so quit judging. quit placing all these expectations on people. ONLY GOD can do all of that. and funny thing is...even if we still do it...GOD will still do it too...and ultimately His judgement rules. not ours. it's His job. not ours.

of course it's not easy to not judge. it's not easy to not try to rule. but if we keep our focus on God. and His judging/ruling/etc...it gets a bit easier. we just have to make it a daily goal of ours. and it's one that has for sure challenged me this week.

i can't wait til my friend is done using the cd's. because before i return them to church, i'm going to listen to the rest of the set. another one i'm looking forward to is 'freedom from religion'
this is what the 'description' is on it:: Doing spiritual things gets you no where if your motivation is to just look the part. Two kinds of people fill our churches: the ones who pretend to love God, and the ones who really do. Ask yourself: which am I? The pretenders look so “religious.” They do and say the right things but inside, their faith hasn’t changed them at all. But if you love and follow Christ, you don’t want to see yourself in any way differently than God sees you. You know and believe that only God’s Spirit, using the mirror of His Word will reflect your genuine motivation. Join James MacDonald in this powerful study and get ready for some self-examination.

doesn't it sound so much fun!! i've been so challenged lately to not take my salvation for granted. to live each day knowing that God has given it to me. i haven't earned it one single bit. HE gave it to me. i can 'do' a whole bunch of 'good' things. and be a 'good' person. but in the end...i'm STILL a sinner...saved by His grace. we can do all the motions...go to church. have our kids dedicated. get baptized. go to Bible study etc etc etc...BUT...and it's a HUGE but....NONE of that truly matters. really it doesn't. what TRULY matters is your changed life. ((and doing those things can show your changed life, but they don't define your life and who you are if YOU aren't changed)) do others see the change in your life? do others see Christ through you? or are you just a doing the motions/the things you think you need to do to 'get to heaven'? we can't 'do' anything to 'get to heaven' except for knowing we are sinners. we have to acknowledge that. and know that Christ died for us. and that only by His blood we are saved. healed. forgiven.

i may seem 'preachy' and i won't 'apologize' for it. because..it's what i believe. it's what the Bible says. and if the Bible says it. that settles it. for me there is no disputing the Bible. it's clear to me what it says about salvation. and it says it clearly.

and in the same token. i won't judge you for not believing what it says. because...ironically enough...the Bible tells me not to judge. but it also tells me to share the Gospel. so while i won't judge you for what you believe, i will share with you what i believe.

so that's that. a whole lot of stuff actually. and yet there is so much more to learn from and about it.

have a good day. and remember...try pleasing God first...

11 loving words from you.:

-stephanie- said...

Well put. Thanks for sharing this.

Kristin said...

That was a great post!! I think God is really trying to teach me something lately about what you do for yourself vs what you do for Him. I was praying about that the other night, to please have Him show me if I'm doing things for the wrong reasons. Then our Pastor preached about that on Sunday and now your post. Hopefully I will learn whatever it is He's trying to show me!!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

Amanda you are awesome! I really needed these verses today...and I think I may need to go find that set too! I'm going to borrow your verses for my facebook page today...they are very fitting for something that I am going through right now!

christy rose said...

Wow! You are really learning a lot from that cd. Isn't it neat how God uses things to get us to focus on Him so that He can show us personally an even deeper Truth we need to get. I love reading your posts. :)

SMALLS said...

Ok- I don't want you to forget that thinking you need a haircut or pedicure isn't necessarily judging yourself. Maybe you just enjoy looking nice, right? Maybe, getting a pedicure is pampering and you get an energy burst when you see how cute your toes are? I think there is a fine line between judging yourself and wanting to look nice/feel good/be healthy for yourself. Vanity can be good--don't judge yourself too hard if you want to get that haircut!! Maybe I missed the point...I'm pregnant dumb right now.

Jen said...

You are AMAZING!

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you see is fighting some kind of battle." kinda rings true here, huh?

Thanks for your timely post; it wasn't just for me, but I sure needed it. :)

Holly said...

This is a great post, Amanda! I've grown a lot in this area. I used to care a lot about what people thought of me and now I hardly care at all (I won't say I don't care completely b/c that wouldn't be true).

We are all guilty of judging others and that's something I've gotten better at too. You're right, we don't know the circumstances of every situation. I think this can all go to just treat people like you would want to be treated-like Jesusu treats people.

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

the story of the man and his kids... wow... what an eye opener. i'm ashamed at how quick i am to judge. it's so essential to please the Lord above all and in everything!!! thanks for sharing this good word with us!

speaking of wildtree... i'm in love with the butter oil.

~*Michelle*~ said...

WOW! Now this was GREAT! Loved.every.convicting.word!

I'd love to hear this sermon....please send me the info!

The part about judging ourselves reminds me of that BarlowGirl song, Mirror, Mirror. (check it out!)

Happy Mother's Day, my friend!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Beautiful. God tries to reach us in so many ways, doesn't he? Loved it.

Alicia said...

Wow!! Very good messages!! It's true though, we shouldn't be so quick to judge because we don't know someones history. Great conviction there!