I just really want you all to like me…and by you all, I mean everyone.
As I’m walking Eli to school on Wednesday mornings, lugging the baby carrier with its 20 lbs of baby inside, calling out to Ezra to hurry up so he doesn’t get hit by a car, spurring Cora on to keep up with the rest of the pack,
I notice the other moms.
Moms who I have come to recognize from these once a week drop-offs. Moms of the little boys that Eli plays with at school. Moms who have bonded and stand talking in little huddles as I rush my brood to the Kindergarten room door.
And I want them to chat with me.
We have something in common, our boys are friends. I want them to talk about our days. To reach out in friendship and say that we should get together. They’re nice enough, they smile and say good morning, but that’s it. And really, I’m surrounded by children, I’m busy trying to snatch at sanity and not appear to be “that” mom.
“Let’s look normal, kids.”
And it’s obvious that I don’t have time to chat. I know why they don’t invite me to hang out — I’m smothered in children.
Then there’s my online community.
My Twitter friends, who I’ve never met in real life, and I want them to RT my posts and connect with me through witty banter. I have my Facebook friends, who I have met in real life but who live far away, and I want them to say my pictures are cute and randomly write on my wall that they miss me.
There are people whose blogs I subscribe to, people I read on a daily basis. And they don’t read mine, or at least they don’t comment if they are reading. And I want them to comment. I will them to comment by commenting on their posts. That’s not my sole purpose in commenting, I really do connect with what they’re writing and want to encourage them. But this is definitely a case of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10
And He has provided me with a plethora of relationships. A caring, thoughtful, loving husband. Fun-filled, imaginative, wonderful children. An encouraging and supportive family. A Godly church body. Many genuine, life-giving friendships. The list goes on and on. Yet, it’s so easy to become self-absorbed and forget about the multitude who are with you for the few who have their backs turned to you.
There’s a place inside of us that is only filled by Him. There’s a longing, a relationship, that He alone satisfies. When I forget that, when I neglect my time with Him, when I turn my face to others, that’s when my desire for their approval becomes an obsession.
I strive and I perform. Like a chameleon I adapt to the environment, so that I appear pleasing and acceptable. I trade the freedom I have in Christ for the bondage of human opinion. He has declared me acceptable. He has approved me. In Him I have life and purpose and being.
I am a servant of Christ, therefore I no longer need to worry about pleasing man. My approval is from the Lord. I’m not quite sure yet how to step forward in this. For now, I’m just declaring it daily and looking to Him when I feel neglected or small.
So often we forget the freedom we have through the work of Jesus Christ…
What is one area in your life where you have embraced the freedom found in Him?