I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. [Galatians 1:10]
I started saying this some time back and Jessica loved it (not really). So it stuck. And this picture is hanging in my office. (I know- not super spiritual- don’t hate).
But at home…I’m not certain why, but we’ve decided the word “hate” would not be allowed. We come up with all kinds of alternatives for our kids when they say it.
My kids: I hate that show.
Me: We don’t say “hate.” We say “we are reluctant to desire to watch this show.”
My kids: *weird look at dad*
My kids: I hate when people are mean to me.
Me: We don’t say “hate.” We say “I passionately disapprove of their actions toward me.”
My kids: *weird look at dad*
My kids: I hate the Dallas Cowboys.
Me: We don’t say…wait…that is actually appropriate. Well done. Booooo Cowboys!
Honestly, it is kind of silly if I think about it, but I know why we ban the word- because we want God to be our greatest desire. We want to please Him. We want to act in ways that please Him. And God is love. We’d rather speak and give our attention to LOVE over HATE.
But, the world is filled with haters.
Believe it or not- there are people who hate me. You have people who hate you too.
Even though I know this, I am always surprised to hear when someone doesn’t like me.
Me? C’mon. I am nice. I am funny, at times. I care about other people. I don’t think I am selfish. I feel like I am a man of integrity- what you see is what you get.
But I know one time I may have said something wrong. I may have not followed through with a good intention. I may have come across a certain way on social media. I may have done something or gone somewhere that doesn’t fit your bill of approval. I have my faults. I do. But so do you. And so does everyone.
There is a great trap that comes from being hated. We often fall into the trap of desiring to please the haters over any other. We obsess over getting people to like us. We desire to WIN them to ourselves.
When you are a people pleaser, you have allowed something other than God to take first place. All of a sudden it becomes god in your life, because you are allowing the opinion of others to matters more than God’s opinion. What they think of you matters more than what God thinks of you.
You and I will NEVER be able to please everyone. Someone reading this has already decided, maybe long ago, that they don’t like me. Should I give my life to change their mind? No, because all of that effort would be futile.
Life is much simpler and satisfying when we give our lives to please the one who loves us without fail. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
This is what we need to know, deep in our souls:
When people hate you for no reason, remember God loves you for no reason.
While we were his enemies, God saved us. [Romans 5:10]
When people are treacherous to us, we must focus on God’s goodness, not on man’s badness. Leave all judgment to the Lord. Continue to bear fruit for God, and praise Him in the midst of trouble. You can be victorious when others target you with their hatred. The next time someone treats you with hate, focus on God; leave the matter in His hands and praise His name.