Saturday, April 23, 2011

On Debt and People-Pleasing

This post is a departure from my usual field trip and household mayhem fodder, but something struck a nerve in me so closely this morning that I had to put it down. You may or may not know that "people-pleasing" is a problem for me...I strive far too hard to make people happy with me . Not that there is anything wrong with pleasing and doing and giving to others, of course those are wonderful things and a fulfillment of our calling to love one another. What I am talking about is when I try too hard to make others think well of me, which is, at its heart (my heart) selfish. I was reading a note on a blog I follow about money management this morning. Strange how God can use any means to show something to us! He was discussing, basically, whether we should ever use credit cards. A quote from said blog:
Romans 3:8 says:
"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. "(Romans 13:8 NIV)
As such, we ALWAYS live our lives in debt and indebtedness. We are in debt to Jesus Christ because he paid a price he did not owe, one that we couldn’t afford. Since he made this payment, he bought me so I now serve him. I am now obligated to serve others in a debt of love. If I make another agreement or commitment to obligate myself to someone else, then I am violating my previous obligation or indebtedness to Jesus. (link to full article)

Now back to me (haha):
I was just so struck by the applications of this to my people-pleasing. Every thing I do for a neighbor can be traced back to one of two motives: I either serve others because I am so filled with love and indebted to Christ for paying the debt I had no hope of paying, OR because I feel obligated out of a false sense that performing a good deed will chip away at that debt, or make me look "good". Being a person who bears the image of my Creator means I ought to be out to make HIM look good. When I serve with any motivation other than love, I serve another master, and bind myself up and trample the freedom Christ bought for me.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1


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