I’ve spent a good deal of my life trying to please. First my parents – not always, but I quickly learned if you’re parents are happy, you’re happy! And I respected and loved them – I didn’t want to cause them grief or anger. But then I wanted to please teachers and others who led me. I wanted to please my friends. And I wanted to please God.
I tried really hard…most the time. Well, okay, some of the time. I wanted God to be pleased with me…but I also wanted to live my own life. Do things my way. And so I relied on God’s grace. That’s how I phrased it. God loves me…God’s grace is there for me…OK let’s go…do whatever the heck I want to do in that moment.
But even as l lived that way, I had this inkling that wasn’t right. That God was disappointed in me. Shaking his head, wondering where he’d gone wrong with me.
So, I eventually got to the place where I tried harder. I actually read my Bible, studied it, surrounded myself with people who were trying to live the right way too…mostly. I prayed, I journaled, I had my quiet time. All to please God.
Yet I still felt like I was letting God down.
Was I really following in the right way? Was I doing all I could? Did I really believe? And if I was doing everything right…why did it feel like I was still a disappointment?
Then one day, my world turned upside down. The walls came crashing in and not only did I not know how to please God in those circumstances…I didn’t even know if I wanted to. If I was doing everything right and this kind of stuff could still happen to me…my exact words were – I want out.
But God didn’t let go.
It’s taken me a long and winding road to come to the realization that could have saved me a lot of heartache. And that realization is this…
I please God because I am. And I am God’s. Period.
I don’t have to earn my way into his heart, I don’t have to be good enough to warrant his love. I am pleasing to God because I’m a child of the King, I’m a follower of Jesus, I’m his masterpiece and work of art.
How I live my life can certainly aid or hinder my relationship with God, but God’s love of me, God’s joy in me isn’t based on what I do – but rather in whose I am. And the same is true for you.
Want to know what pleases God? You do. – Pastor Jane Jebsen