Monday, July 14, 2008

The Bondage of People Pleasing

“When we are set free from the bondage of pleasing others,when we are free from currying others approval-then no one will be able to make us miserable or dissatisfied. And then, if we know we have pleased God, contentment will be our consolation. ~Kay Arthur



Right now, the only thing on my mind is VBS and Children's Ministries, so forgive me for constantly chattering on about it. Vacation Bible School isn't quite what it used to be. These days, it's a performance, a show of epic proportions that must "wow" and excite children and parents alike. People have expectations of children's ministries in the 21st century that weren't even imagined in D.L. Moody's day.

So, it's become quite apparent to me that I must keep my focus straight. As I worry over set design and redecorating the Children's wing, I'm often thinking of how everyone else will view my work. Yes, I am doing this as a ministry to parents and kids, but ultimately all my work is for GOD.

It is just too easy to get caught up in worries about everyone else's opinion. For one thing, if I'm doing my work the way everyone else thinks it ought to be done, am I listening for God's direction?

The other problem with people pleasing is that it is bound to end in disappointment. I just can't expect to please everyone all of the time. I wish I could, but someone, somewhere, somehow is going to express displeasure at something that I've done. How will that criticism affect me? If I'm working to please God, not man, then someone else's opinion won't hurt me. But, if I'm trying to please people, I will end up miserable, as Kay Arthur says.

She's hit on the key to contentment here. Seeking God's approval instead of man's brings an inner sense of assurance. And that's something I need to be reminded of on a regular basis. I'm doing this (children's ministry, blogging, writing, motherhood, etc.) for GOD and for His glory alone.

Denise is our hostess today. Go visit her to read more about Kay Arthur's quote.

9 comments:

Denise said...

Amen, we should all seek Gods approval, not mans. I love you my friend.

Susan said...

Oh Heather,

I hear you loud and clear! I'm praying for you as you continue to prepare for your VBS!

I loved when you said this:


...These days, it's a performance, a show of epic proportions that must "wow" and excite children and parents alike.

Sometimes I feel this is what CHURCH has become as well, a great big perfomance to woe people into a delusional state of believing our "happiness" is more important then our call and holiness.

Hmmmm, I think I'll stop right here, after all I would not want anyone to disapprove of this comment!!! (He He...)

Blessings my friend♥

Angie said...

My stars-a-mighty! (Favorite saying of mine when something blows me away) You have HIT it! I think I can safely say...I have BEEN in that TRAP!

I didn't get to this early enough today! But I can see I have some more reading to DO!

Laurie Ann said...

You're so right, Heather. "Seeking God's approval instead of man's brings an inner sense of assurance." I love that. I'm going to post that quote by you on my wall by my desk. I love it. And you're right about VBS. I miss the simpler times, the assembly, learning a lesson and song, making crafts, going for kool-aid and cookies and playtime. I think VBS is trying to keep up with the culture that innodates our kids with themes and fads. Not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all, because it's one of the only ways to get their attention and give them something to look forward to. I just remember back in the day when things were simpler...and miss it sometimes. Have fun in VBS. Great post, by the way!

Karen said...

It's bound to end in disappointment. Boy if that isn't the truth. Thanks for your thoughts.

Paula said...

Thank you for a great blog and a timely reminder for me that everything I'm doing in life is for God. Thanks again, Paula :-)

lori said...

Heather, Heather, Heather...you know I've just been asked to coordinate the 8th grade Teens at our church and you are so right....We have to "resist" the temptation, even in ministry, to PLEASE others and lose focus on God....YES...you spoke to me today girl!!

Pleasing God...Seeking His will at every single turn...it's NOT about me, It's not about everyone else...it IS about Him...

This was fabulous...and I think I tell you that every time....and every time...I mean it...
For God...and For His glory...
YES....
peace!
lori

Sita said...

I have to keep on reminding myself that God is 'outside' my finite thinking in that there is nothing I can do that will subtract or add to His love for me.
Therefore I don't need to seek His or anyone's approval. I just need to KNOW that perfect love He has for me, the perfect value He placed on me before I was formed. When I finally KNOW this, I will be as serene as my header image in the midst of every storm, people's comments, good or bad will not stick (like Max Lucado's book,(I Am Special)portrays. One day I will only bear His logo, HIS. It is a lifelong journey.
Thank you for reminding me of this today.

MiPa said...

Heather you are so right in this post! I was thinking a few days ago how much I wish my girls could experience a VBS where the "flashiest" thing that happened was churning homemade butter or a few sprinkles on a cupcake. All they see is the glitz! But that is what we want in our lives. How I desire to seek God's approval and not the approval of others. Bless you as you minister to the children this week!