Galatians 1:10 – For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. (HCSB)
My husband began to pastor his first church when our son was just a few months old. I had a Bible, a covered casserole dish and determination to be the best Baptist preacher’s wife ever and therefore took on the title in full confidence. I was unaware a lack of piano skills trumped covered casserole dish and quite possibly Bible. One particular female member was abundantly gifted with keen sight for my shortcomings. Apparently Mark 16:15 (And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation) was her life verse, but she stopped reading after the word “proclaim”. Thankfully, her proclamations only extended into her local world. Pointing out my many lapses and disappointments was her cross to bear and she bore it gladly. As If her actions didn’t make me frenzied enough, her favorite beginning to any conversation with me was, “Well, the LAST preacher’s wife” and I would be made aware of the paragon of sainthood who had preciously occupied my seat. James 1:2-4 says to consider it an opportunity for great joy when troubles come your way, but joy is pushed away when we are working to fit someone else’s measurement. Church became stressful torture for me trying to keep our son quiet – no worship, lots of worry. Serving became a burden and a chore – not pleasing to God or me and definitely not pleasing to my strict supervisor. My focus was shifting to pleasing someone other than God and my peace was disappearing like dandelion dust. I wish I could say I have repented of my people pleasing ways, but when my focus begins to shift I remember the words to the old hymn “Turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things of earth will grow strangely dim”. Jesus said, “And the one who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.” (John 12:45 HCSB). I will change my way of looking at things by changing the things I’m looking at.