So God has his working gloves on. Really, we both do, shovels in hand. We’re working around the dead shrubs planted in the front yard of my life… my people pleasing addiction. And friend, this baby has roots that go down way under the porch. I’m talkin’ extensive excavation with a pickaxe or perhaps a field trip to the lab, untwining the strands of my DNA and picking at the genes with tweezers.
It is time to pick up the magnifying glass…to see what people pleasing really is: sin.
I say I only worship one God though I learned early how to bow to please the many.
I live, gate closed, fenced in with a graveyard of anonymous false gods.
Now do you see the God-separation in this sin? Not so pretty.
All I know is that He is a Resurrected God and this addiction has already been nailed to the cross, though the roots are crisscrossed in deep.
And so during a Thanksgiving week crammed full of three turkeys and overstuffed with stimuli (caused by all the beautiful people I love and love to please), He led me back to this here realization…the one that screams against the worship of polite, the worship of nice.
Here it is in all its naked glory:
I was created to be a challenge.
I was created to be a challenge.
No need to crawl up small and play elevator music to satiate moody crowds. No more patting the hand of sin to make it feel better. No more Nice as if nice was god.
I was meant to be a challenge, arms lifted in boxing gloves, unwilling to give up my soul to the masses who demand puniness.
I am shielded behind the Lion’s roar.
And resting behind His opinion, His judgment, His Truth, I can walk with muscled purpose.
Light does not ask Dark for His opinion of her skirt.
I will not bow to the many who try to judge the few into obeisance.
I choose to listen to Your Voice.
I choose difference.
I choose challenge.
I choose a substantial Life.
As I said, God and I, we are jumping on shovels together. This one’s deep, but here’s a clue to the hard work we are about. Miss Beth Moore spoke right to my heart in these highly practical talks, 15 min each about stronghold excavation with the Word. Worth every second.
And friend, if you are bone-tired from the hard work of excavation, You are not alone.
Here’s the hope: God is more fierce for your freedom than you are! And dear one, with your permission, He is coming in after you. He is all about the divine surgical mending of your broken heart and tearing down the prison walls which have been constricting the air out of your life. Confession and nailing that sin down is the first step to healing.
Your eyes will soon peruse a new land: wide-open freedom.
How do we know? Because here’s Jesus’ mission statement:
(Eugene Peterson says to let the scripture roll around in the mind like a slowly melting lozenge. This one certainly deserves that kind of hmmmm, slow rocking-on-the-porch meditation.)
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
(Tattoo photo from Pinterest, amazing birdcage photo I bought for my sister a few years ago? here)
This is obviously a repost (Ahem, thanksgiving?) but, oh, I seem to need it again as we live with mom and dad (who I adore with all my heart but who I long to please) for a few weeks during this transition: I am meant to be a challenge.
And you friend, do you wrestle with approval addiction? Where do you find your strength? Oh do share.
(I’m linking with the fabulous Jen Ferguson who today has a review on what looks like a wonderful book on friendship and authenticity.)