BRP Insight Post for Monday, June 17, 2019
On Friday evening I did a teaching at New Hope’s Celebrate Recovery on character defects. Not a light topic, and as I got into preparing for it, I was kicking myself for picking such a broad topic. I love to study, so finding material is never an issue; the issue is in paring it down! But as often happens, I wondered if the words that I wrote to speak were more for myself than for those there listening. See, there are areas of my life where I know that my character defects are still holding me back, areas that I believe with all my heart God is trying to grow me up out of.
Galatians 5:1 is my favorite verse of the Bible, hands down. It says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Whatever has mastered us, whether it’s an actual addiction, people pleasing, fear, anger or any number of other things, has enslaved us. We submit to it, work our lives around it, and if we are not careful, we can give it higher priority in our lives than God Himself.
I had someone I trust ask me recently, “Are you more afraid of what people think of you than you are of doing what you think God has called you to do?” That sound of the needle scratching across a vinyl record played in my mind as I thought of my answer. “No?”, I answered. He said, “Is that your answer or are you asking me a question?” I had to take a deep breath and answer truthfully that sometimes, in some situations, I am absolutely more afraid and concerned over how and what people think than what God thinks. How can this be?
The pull toward pleasing people is a yoke of slavery for me. It leads me to working way more than I need to, not taking care of myself or my family in the way I know God wants me to, but the biggest thing it does is it takes God off the throne of my heart.
God is loving, kind and full of mercy and grace, BUT He’s also jealous. He doesn’t share His throne with anyone. So, life has been a little bumpy for me lately as “personal growth opportunities” have come my way to test my allegiance. I’m learning that at the end of the day, I would rather stand alone with God than stand with a million people without Him. My freedom is only found in Him, everything else is fleeting at best.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach