Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pleased


I sometimes find myself trying to please people who are hard to please. There was one particular faculty member back at ACU who was not everyone’s favorite guy. He was not afraid to tell you what he thinks. During my first meeting with him, it felt like he was trying to talk me out of going to graduate school. He was pretty intimidating. We all learned very quickly that whenever we needed to meet with him, we needed to have our ducks lined up in a row.

It was not too long before I ended up working as his graduate assistant. It seemed to me that he did not get much pleasure out of people who merely did what he said. Everyone did what he said. So I started not being afraid to speak my mind to him. If his instructions were vague, I did it my way. If we disagreed, I would have a reason to support my position. Of course I still did what he said because he was my boss.

I guess I enjoy the challenge of proving myself. Getting approval from someone who is so hardcore somehow seems to mean more than getting it from someone who is less discerning.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10 that he does not want to be compared to those who commend themselves. He said that comparing yourself with others is not wise. Instead, Paul advocates boasting in the Lord and receiving his commendation.

I think this is a great spiritual challenge. We must be reminded continually to seek God’s approval, not in order to get gold stars next to our spiritual name on the board, but in contrast with always seeking the approval of other people.

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