Our seventh post in an ongoing series right here on the blog. Sarah Spegal, a relatively new member to our Delanco Camp community, has been willing to share what God has been teaching her. If you would like to share your testimony or a devotion with us, email firstname.lastname@example.org with blog testimony in the subject line.
I winced at the thought of it. Why did I do that again? I was with my co-workers, everyone was laughing and having fun, and it happened. I did it again. I dropped more of those words I hate. Why do I say these things I do not want to say? Why do I feel the need to use such profane language when I am with them? The simple answer is…
I want them to like me.
It doesn’t matter. It’s only a few words. It’s not offending anyone so it isn’t wrong, right? I can make all the excuses in the world, but at the end of the day I know that God doesn’t like it.
IT. What exactly is IT that He doesn’t like?
The Bible says, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matt 12:34, NIV). Another translation puts it this way, “Whatever is in your heart, determines what you say” (Matt 12:34, NLT). The core issue isn’t even the cussing; it’s my heart.
I want THEM to like me.
God knows as long as this is the motive of my heart, as long as it is set to please them, I will continue to do and say whatever it takes for this to happen. And this is a dangerous trap. Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” God hates to watch me walk willingly into that trap. This is what He does not like.
It has and will be our natural bent to want other people’s approval. We must daily reset our hearts and recalibrate them to follow ONLY Him. It has been said, “Any kingdom divided against itself will fall” (Matt 12:25). We cannot try to please both God and people. To do so is to create a war within ourselves that will destroy us. It is only when our hearts scream “I want ONLY HIM!” that we will find the freedom to act and speak in a manner that pleases Him.
I want ONLY HIM.
Matthew 12:33 says, “A tree is identified by its fruit, if a tree is good, its fruit will be good.” When our hearts are set on only Him, our actions will naturally follow. Guard your hearts against people-pleasing. Train your eyes to look to Him instead of them before you speak, before you act, before you move. As you seek Him, He will be faithful to “add all these things unto you” – to provide the friends, the affirmation, and the love you long for and need (Matt 6:33).
I am praying for you, as Paul did for his church in the first century, that “out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:16-19).
You’ve got this! And He’s got you.