Jul 12, 2021 • Written by Rebecca Fulcer
Pleasing God, Not Them: Proverbs 31
“Just don’t worry what other people will think.”
Have you ever received that advice? I know I have!
If you’re anything like me, this advice, although usually given with great intent, can start to feel cliche because of the amount of times I’ve had to hear it due to some people-pleasing tendencies.
But what does God have to say about people-pleasing?
Karen Ehman from Proverbs 31 Ministries shares in her devotional, “Pleasing God, Not Them”, that as daughters of God, we may not always make choices that please others as we seek to do God’s will. Check out a section of her devotional below, or visit Proverbs 31 Ministries for the full devotional.
My friend and her husband were embarking on quite an adventure. They sensed God calling them to become a foster family, taking in children from difficult home situations and providing them with a safe place to grow and thrive.
They’d filled out the necessary paperwork and been approved. When I met my friend for coffee one afternoon, I was expecting her to gush with excitement and maybe a little apprehension. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the tale she told me through her tears.
She had told her parents what her family was about to do. She knew they would likely ask a few questions because foster care was something no one in her extended family had ever done. But what she wasn’t anticipating was outright discouragement. Her concerned parents brought up everything that could go wrong, conveying a great lack of support toward the decision despite God’s clear calling. She was told to rethink the decision because her relatives were certain it was the wrong one.
I was heartbroken for my friend. She and her husband were going to need support, not only tangibly, with meals brought in and help buying items for the children, but also emotionally. How devastating for them to discover they might not receive support from some of their extended family.
Hugging her, I promised that our family would be there to help. When we finished our time together, however, her spirits were still dashed. But surprisingly, when we met later that month, her countenance and confidence had shifted. I curiously asked what had happened.
While wrestling with her disappointment, she had diligently sought the Lord. After a few days of praying and reading God’s Word, she’d discovered a new perspective, a conclusion she could sum up in one simple sentence. She looked at me and assuredly declared, “I finally realized I don’t need their permission to do God’s will.”
Wow. What a powerful pronouncement!
To read the rest of Karen's devotional, visit Proverbs 31 Ministries.