But all of a sudden, I had to put a stop to white bread consumption. Why? Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with the health benefits of whole wheat products. My true motivation was that my son would be taking school lunches for the first time. I didn’t want to be that mom. I didn’t want to be judged.
Our conversion to brown bread was complete. Complete with whining, lots of crust-cutting and some uneaten lunches. But I braved it all – for the sake of my reputation, I’m embarrassed to admit.
Pleasing people is a trap we’ve all fallen into way too many times. But it’s a trap that God can dig us out of.
Invest in the eternal
Sure, I can always argue that I’m doing the right thing for my family. Choosing brown bread over white is the right thing, after all. But our focus on doing the right thing gets in the way of doing the righteous thing. No, we’re not talking about bread anymore. More like the Bread of Life.
When you do the right thing, the results are tangible. A right action would be cleaning the house, for instance. The results are clear: no scattered toys and a pleased husband (yup, I married a clean freak. But that’s the subject of a different post). The problem with righteous actions is that the pay-outs are not immediate. When you do the righteous thing, like spending time in the Word, no one is the wiser. The rewards are long-term – it may even take an eternity (literally) to see them.
Examine your motives. Do you live so the results of your choices are obvious and quantifiable? Or are you investing in the eternal? In today’s world, measurable results determine your worth. We, however, are called to go against the tide. The Scripture tell us that we are to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven.
Determine your Audience
Living to please people always deflects glory away from God onto ourselves. We crave the appreciation and validation. God gets left out of the picture. Soon enough, this becomes a soul-crushing way to live. In the eyes of the world, our good is not good enough, our smart is not smart enough. But you live for an Audience of One, there is total freedom. He doesn’t expect, He accepts.
We don’t need to up our performance.
We simply rest in His pleasure.
Set your priorities
Sure, you volunteer 10 hours a week at the kids’ school and are president of the PTC. But if you come home so irritable that yelling at your kids is your first impulse, it might be time to stop and take stock of your priorities. The book of Matthew says to seek first His righteousness. Then your perspective changes and your priorities fall into place in the right order.