November 29 / Proverbs 29 / Luke 16


Proverbs 29:25

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting YHWH means safety.

It is interesting how people-pleasing tends to be so paralyzing.  The more we work to please others, in a manner looking ultimately to please ourselves, we end up losing our identity.  After a while, you don’t even know who you are any more.  You’ve spent so much time trying to make others happy, in order to bring what you think will be peace in your own life, that you don’t even understand what makes you happy or satisfied or fulfilled.

And therefore, people don’t really know you.  In a sense, you cannot be known, which we believe is one of the basic components of our humanity–being known.  We were made to be known and loved.  Think of how wonderful it is to have someone know you inside and out and accept you for who you are and love you for you.  Have you ever known anyone like this?

But what if we’ve built a wall of people-pleasing around ourselves so thick that we can no longer be known and accepted by anyone, for they cannot genuinely discern who it is to know or accept?  You no longer know who you are and neither do they.

But God knows you.

God accepts you.

God loves you.

Jesus frees us from the people-pleasing prison…if we let Him.  By letting Him in and spending time getting to know Him and allowing ourselves to be known by Him, He heals us.  And we see our people-pleasing in His light, for what it truly is–a desperate attempt at peace, fulfillment, and acceptance.  But looking to Jesus, who embraces us in all of our weakness and neediness, we realize we need only please One, the One who is easiest to please, for all he wants from us is to be close to us.

This is is why the practice of thinking about God more than any other person is so healing, conversing with Jesus more than anyone else throughout the day so life-giving.

If you’re into alliteration (or Dr. Seuss): prioritize purging of the paralyzing people-pleasing prison.

And do this through thinking about and talking with God more than people, so that you can think correctly about yourself and get to know who you really are.  You may even find that people enjoy being around you more and more because you are authentic, loving, and confident in who you are before God.

Luke 16:9

Use whatever worldly wealth you accumulate for kingdom purposes.  Use it toward gaining eternal friendships, however that may look.

What else is it good for, other than for self-serving reasons?

Wealth, being so attached to the world, tends to produce “worldly” responses by keeping one’s focus on this age and on self, not on the age to come and God. -Darrell Bock

Money does not last.  So rather than rely upon it, put it to beneficial and lasting use.

Thoreau wrote that a man is wealthy in proportion to the number of things he can afford to do without.

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