AAC Women's Blog

Pleasing God, Not Them: Proverbs 31

O31

“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.

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The Measure of a Mother's Wealth

My husband and I drive vehicles built in 2004.

We’re still living in our 5-year starter home… 18 years and counting.

We work hard and dream big and pay our bills on time. But those bills have never included brand new cars or Paris vacations or an inground pool. {I really want an inground pool.}

Let’s just say between the Dollar Tree and Saks Fifth Ave, we’re more of a Target kind of family.

Yet I have never felt richer.

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All of the Above

I love the “&” symbol. It’s known as the Ampersand. Little known fact: long ago it was considered the 27th letter in our alphabet, shorthand for “et”, which is Latin for “and”. That little symbol has become my personal flag.

My family is in a season of change— changes this past year with selling our house, most of our stuff, moving twice, and more.

And changes will come in the weeks and months ahead, some known but many unknown: a new city, new neighbors, new school, new culture, and language. With all of this change comes many thoughts and emotions including excitement, grief, anticipation, and fear. It is truly a season of “&”. It’s all of the above.

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7: THE CHURCHES OF REVELATION- Philadelphia

The church of Philadelphia was a contrast to Sardis. While Sardis had "soiled" clothes, Philadelphia's clothes were much "cleaner". While I am quite sure the people of the Church of Philadelphia were not perfect, it is certainly worth noting that Christ had nothing to criticize them for (at least worth mentioning in the letter).


They were enduring.
Patiently.
Keeping the Word.
No denying His name.
With what little strength they had.

And Christ tells them to hold on to what they have.

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7: The Churches of Revelation- Thyatira

Jesus saw each of these churches. He saw and knew each area they were strong in and where their weaknesses were too. He knows and sees us too. He searches the hearts and the minds of His people. While the church of Ephesus needed to go back to the love they had at first, Thyatira was the opposite. They were growing. They were loving, and serving, and persevering more than they had before. But parallel to that growth was the secular world they were getting caught up in.

I thought about going over the parable of the soils with you (if you are not familiar with it head over to Matthew 13:1–23, it is worth the read). But then, I remembered a drive I took a few years ago in the summer. I remembered passing by two farm fields. The two were side by side and the contrast caught my eye. One was full of a crop about to be harvested. It was lush and green and abundant. The other had sparse growth, was unkept, dry, and invaded by weeds.

Now, growth happens for different people at different rates and different seasons. Each of us have our own faith walk and what we shouldn't do is compare. However, if we want to keep growing, if we want to end up with that lush, abundantly green field, rather than the dry, sparse one, there are things we can do to get there. I think Christ gives us a good start in this letter to Thyatira.

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