“What ultimately matters most is not what others say about your life, but what God says.”
— Rick Warren
Discernment is about enjoying the knowledge, that, in trying to follow God’s will for our lives, the ultimate blessing stands there for us, at the end.
We put so much stock in what others think, and, to some extent, it does matter. But we are far too much concerned with what others think, and we often push God to the background in order to please people.
Much of our mental health issues seem to be caused, almost centrally, from our relationships. It’s not God that bends us out of shape; not truly.
Having Faith in Grace
If we really know God, we know grace, and we know grace never disappoints. Not that God gives us our own way all the time, or even much of the time, but the point is grace is not onerous; it has no unfair expectations; it is much more flexible than we feel is deserved.
Knowing grace means knowing that, when we please God, we achieve the goal and ends of life. Sure, we try and please people, too. But we are none too fussed if people prove hard to please, or even impossible to please. It’s their problem, not ours.
Having faith in grace is simply taking God at God’s Word—that he is with us, guiding us if our wills agree, giving us the courage to forge onward along the path of God’s will for our lives.
God, through his grace, is always gentler on us than we are on our critical selves.
God, through his grace, is powerful in our lives when we consider his grace the truth that steers our ships through the channels of life.
Having faith in grace acknowledges the power of God to transform the pressures we place on ourselves to please people, from anxiety to acceptance; from preoccupation to a reasonable oblivion; from focusing on distractions to focusing on God.
When all is said and done, and we get closer by the day to that fact, God is all that counts. We may think that people count, but anyone the rallies against God doesn’t.
Yes, this includes family.
God is not blessed when we put our families ahead of our allegiance to Christ. If this seems harsh we ought to study Matthew 19:29 and Mark 3:35. We ought to treat everyone with grace, but it doesn’t mean we consent to them—regardless.
Time is definite in this clause: we have now to please God, but we must know that pleasing human beings, despite God, does not please God. It may be the most regrettable action we can take. What God thinks of us is what counts.
Knowing grace—giving it a definite role in our lives—helps us focus on the goodness of God and to steer clear of pleasing people for the sake of it.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.