1 Thessalonians 2:4- "On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts."
I was searching this morning for the reference to the verse, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." If anyone knows it- let me know! Anyway, I came across these verses in Thessalonians and they were convicting to me.
The first part of these verses minded me of 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividng the Word of Truth."
"We are not trying to please men but God."
I'm a people-pleaser. I hate confrontation. I usually try to avoid it, and I am the queen at sugar coating. With those I don't know well, I am especially excessive in this area. However, with my closer friends, I am more able to be honest and open with them, and speak words that may not be easy to hear but are necessary to say. The closer I am to someone, the easier it is to admonish them in love and honesty. I have also found that the closer I grow to Christ and the more I grow in His Word, the easier it is to be honest with those who need advice and counsel rather than just tell them what they want to hear.
God knows our hearts, and He knows us. There is no need to try to "sugar coat" things with Him. In the recent past, I have learned the importance of being 100% REAL and honest with God. He already knows what I'm thinking and how I feel, so why try to hide it? That may even sound like a silly thing to do... but often times I have to wonder if some of us just put all our problems in a nice little package with a bow on top instead of confronting the issues in their reality up front by giving them to God. It's hard to receive help from God if we don't acknowledge our problem areas... as Fred Witzig said at the Morton invite, "Life is bigger than what any of us can handle!" After we see the problem, it is then important to realize that we are weak and can NOT handle it! We aren't suppossed to be able to handle it. If we were super-people, why would there be a Higher Power? We are weak human beings, but the good news is that we have a Lord who loves us and is capable of miraculous things.
Through this "faith like a child" and trust, we please God.
Do I try to please others? Yes. I already said I'm a people-pleaser. This is not a bad thing, as along as I am pleasing people to glorify God. To God be the glory in all that I do! That way, I not only please people, but I please God. If I am trying to please God through all that I do- whether it be pleasing people or not- then my attitude will stay humble, and my heart will be focused.
Is there an unhealthy way to please people? Yes. The question I would ask to evaluate this is, "Where is your self-worth?"
In yourself? You can't do it alone.
In others? Others will not bring you happiness.
In God? Bingo.
Do not be a man-pleaser. Be a God-pleaser.
"...who tests our hearts."
God tests our hearts! What is your heart's score right now? If you are pleasing God in how you are living your life right now, then the score should be pretty high. If it's in the lower range... let's think about how to boost that.
How do you prepare for a test in class?
First, it would help to GO to class and learn about the material. We need to be going to church and soaking up the Words of Life that we hear.
How do you study for the test? You read the curriculum or the book that the test is going to cover. For us, that would be the Bible. How do you remember this information? You look at if often. You study it. You memorize it. You practice it.
A lot of Christians wonder why their life falls to shambles when they are "tested." It's not much different then why some students wonder why they got a "C-" on their test when they only read through their notes once and hardly listened in class. It's tough to apply something that we don't really KNOW. Let's know the Word and what it says, so that when we are tested, we have the ability to stay strong... not on our own, of course, but with the help of God!
Alright, guys... I haven't done one of these long, drawn-out "verse" posts in awhile, so I apologize if I was unclear or detached in my thinking. I hope that through these posts where I share my thoughts on Scripture, I can offer a new perspective or encouragement to some of you. Thanks for all who read and comment! I appreciate your thoughts and wisdom!