Current situation: eating cereal at 4am fighting the urge to sneeze.
The mind really is an amazing thing. And the heart? Most deceitful thing ever. If anyone ever tells you to follow your heart, rebuke them because they just want you to go to hell. Then quote Jeremiah 17:9 in NIV like “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Yes, that last part was a rhetorical question from God.
Now, this heart, what I realized, is that the older you get, the more intelligent the deceit gets. It speaks like you in a calm, firm voice and we are dumb enough to call it the voice of reason. I mean, it will be a rough day, have you seen the work I have to do? So let’s do this, let’s keep a sour mood, but make sure it’s sweet enough to get pity, then sigh and exhale and let people know just how hard you are grinding, then finish off with ‘But I thank the Lord’ just so they remember you are Christian.
I have been following the Seven Mile series (I dunno if he calls it that) by Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church which I highly recommend. The sermons are based on Luke 24:13-34 where Cleopas and his companion are walking seven miles to Emmaus from Jerusalem when Jesus pops up fresh from hell and resurrection. I won’t even attempt to summarize the series but those messages are powerful and timely for lent. Now, the latest one, Complete the Cross, made me realize something-fear not, Jeremiah will make sense in a bit.
Disclaimer: Quoting scripture, explain stuff using the word and watching sermons doesn’t make me perfect. Always keep in mind I’m on a race and I do trip over and pass out sometimes. What I do, however, is always get back up, bruised, scarred, bored with life and myself and continue. Don’t hold me- and those around you- to an impossible standard.
I think some years back I tackled people-pleasing in one of my blog posts but what I realized is the problem never really went away, it just morphed into something more sophisticated. In my mind I always thought ‘I don’t care’ and had my behavior adapt accordingly with my heart telling me I’m a relatively good person. That sadly brought about a constant need to compare myself to others and finishing with a sly, “Let me not judge, I’m not in their shoes.”
It’s humble till you realize that somewhere at the base of it is a superiority complex implying ever so subtly that, whatever the case, they are still wrong.
I’ll tie this in to relationships. Furtick says, “The greatest pain and pleasure you will experience in your life will be in the context of relationships.” And I was short of applauding- my phone was in one hand, then it was 3:15 am… It’s so true though!!
I had been subtly judging- look at me lying- I have been all the way judging some people in my life for how they have/are or have not/ are not being there for me especially when they are being somewhat passive to my attempt to connect with them. Of course pride never let me show that that’s how I feel and my heart always told me ‘some of these people have nothing to offer you’ but I kept the convo going because, well, I’m a ‘nice’ person.
And that’s rubbish.
See if you notice what I say next in your life. If not, cool, I just happen to have a lot more deep rooted issues than the average Jane. 😅
Seeking acceptance gets you spending time and money, doing and saying things that later make you wonder what you were trying to achieve in the first place, because nothing feels achieved or satisfying. The issue is often this; you are trying to get something out of people. You want them to do and say nice things to you. I mean, surely, they’ll see how loyal, kind and thoughful you are, how then can they not come through for you?!
The second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. All by itself the concept falls short of hallucination for who can ever do this? The greatest commandment to love God with all your heart, mind and soul is splendidly manifested in our love for others. We are told that those who say they love God who’s unseen but can’t love their brothers are liars.
Doth thine heart deceive you? Love God and know you are utterly accepted, and from the abundance that comes from His love, love others. That way you never have to people-please as a currency for acceptance. Free yourself and others today, won’t you?
Cheers my good people
PS: I really couldn’t come up with a title.