A Prayer to Be Delivered from People Pleasing By: Victoria Riollano
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. - Colossians 3:23-24
For years, I worked hard for everyone. In my home, I loved my children in hopes of giving them a good childhood. I gave my all to my career to be promoted. In ministry, I worked tirelessly to not let down the pastor or leave the church in need. My friendships became a full-time job as I could not imagine the idea of creating boundaries. Although these actions were valiant, I was often left disappointed by the response of others and exhausted from trying to please those around me.
It took countless moments of betrayal and heartache to realize a change needed to be made. During this time, I started to lean into Colossians 3:23 which encouraged me, “Whatever you do, work at it with your heart as working for the Lord, and not for people.” It became clear that much of my heartbreak reflected my own disposition. Instead of living a life that would honor God, I only wanted to be approved by those around me. I had become a slave to the expectations of others.
Doing things unto the Lord requires a shift in thought. Much like the famous phrase, “What would Jesus do?” My actions should also reflect, “How can I do this for Jesus?” Serving the community should come from a desire to help God’s people. Caring for my children should be a reflection of wanting them to experience God’s love through me. Working hard in my career should reflect wanting to be a good ambassador the Lord. In other words, every action should signify wanting to serve God wholeheartedly.
We must also realize, that whether we like it or not, there will be disappointments. There will be times when the love we give won’t be reciprocated and the honor we deserve won’t be granted. For this reason, Colossians 3:24 is a gentle reminder that our inheritance comes from the Lord. Unfortunately, man will always disappoint (Psalm 146:4). However, God never will. We may not see the immediate benefits of serving those around us, but the Lord ensures that we will be rewarded.
Jesus encountered a similar issue when it came to His dealings with people. Judas would betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Peter would deny Jesus when faced with persecution. The same community that He would minister to, heal, and deliver, would turn him over to be hung on the cross. Yet, He forgave them (Luke 23:34) and remembered His why. Honoring the Father in every action was His goal. In doing so, He was keenly aware that not everyone would be pleased with or appreciate His choices. Truthfully, when we are serving the Lord wholeheartedly, there may be some who don’t understand our actions. Yet, we can act confidently knowing that God is well pleased and will see to it that we are taken care of.
Today, let us seek to honor the Lord in all that we do. Otherwise, we will become trapped in pleasing others who may never have our best interest in mind. Our motivation for doing good things shouldn’t come from selfish ambition or making other people happy. True peace comes from knowing that every action is led by the Lord and for His glory!
Let us pray:
I ask that you deliver me from people-pleasing. Teach me to no longer be a slave to other people’s opinions and expectations of me. Instead, let my actions honor you and reflect your heart.
I thank you that you see it all and that your rewards far outweigh what any person could give me. Lead me Lord to act in accordance with your will.
In Jesus' name.
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of six, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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