Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Galatians 1:10

I underlined this verse months ago during our Covenant Bible Study Class.  It struck me at the time as important to remember; especially the last sentence.

Every time I flip past Galatians, I see that underlined verse, nod to myself and think, "Yes, yes, valuable stuff to keep in mind."

A series of events over the past few weeks have caused a range of troublesome emotions within me; all events having to do with people in situations where I most decidedly have felt a lack of their approval (or support).

When  this happens, I tend to fall back into the role of middle child, trying her best to mediate the issue while at the same time, trying to keep everyone happy...in all honesty...happy with me...and thus staying out of  trouble!

At 51, I hope I know enough by now to comprehend this is an exercise in futility!  And, I DO know it in my head, yet my heart is wounded nonetheless.  As a child, that wounded heart meant tears and fears.  As an adult, although the tears might still make a surprise appearance, the fears have advanced to bitterness, resentment, judgmental behavior and irritation boarding on anger.

Only with Mr. B do I feel free enough to share these emotions, and thankfully his heart is large enough that he doesn't judge me.  I think he understands why I may feel a certain way, although he's at a loss how to help me stop feeling this way.  Understandably, because it's not his responsibility, it's mine.

Today's Upper Room (devotion) was about looking for God's signs, His marks, that you are on the right path.  I've felt a decided lack of direction in my faith-journey of late.  All that I am involved in, well, it is starting to feel a lot like an over abundance of Kitchen Service.  Many frustrations, not a lot of joy.  But, I think God put a sign on my trail this morning when I yet again stumbled on Galatians 1:10.  This time, I took a moment to stop and really read the entire verse.  And, it clicked.

"Am I now seeking human approval, or God's approval?"  

A question.  A good  question.  A most important question!!!

I have spent way too much time in  my life seeking the approval of people; trying to please them, and then ending up troubled when I feel that I have somehow failed to do so.  What I have failed in is my motives.  Rather than trying to please people, or obtain their approval, all that I do (and I mean all) should be with the intent and desire to  please God, to serve my Lord. Because if following Christ, being a Disciple of Christ, means to emulate Him, to be "God with skin on", then it stands to reason that people will also be served, according to His will. Those who are not pleased are no longer anyone I needed approval from in the first place. Even those who are approving; well, that's a nice but unnecessary by-product. 

I have a servant's heart.  My problem has been in my attempts to serve people rather than Christ. Sometimes the difference is a  fine line to the observing eye;  yet, it's a huge chasm in the heart that is wounded by human disapproval, lack of gratitude, and ungracious behavior. However, if the desire is to serve Christ, His approval is all that is needed.  Hurtful human behavior can be forgiven and forgotten and any gratefulness is merely the icing on the cake.  

Really pondering that last sentence was also eye (heart)  opening.

"If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Not.  As in, can't be.  It is one or the other.  PERIOD.

And this is a realization that brings humility and repentance.  A heart that aches not for me, but for my Savior that has done everything for me while I have stood by and done so little for Him.  And what I have done has not always, no, not nearly enough, been for the right reasons.  

To serve Him. To seek His approval and trust that everything will fall into place; that those feelings of hurt, fear, bitterness and anger will fall away from me leaving nothing but peace in their wake.

Mrs. B