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This Changes Everything Day 20

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Scripture: Galatians 1:10  Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Devotional: One of the greatest sources of our failure happens when we fear the disapproval or judgment of others over the fear of God.  Frankly speaking, that’s called people pleasing.

Too often we allow ourselves to be controlled by the opinions of others and that causes us to make poor decisions, sinful decisions, in our life.

Why are we so controlled by the opinions of other people?  Why is it that we’ll do almost anything to avoid somebody disapproving of us?  Why does that matter so much?

Often, a hidden wound is behind the fear of disapproval of other people; something that triggers fear in your mind.  Perhaps it was a rejection in the past, an unmet need you had growing up or some kind of hurt. Maybe it was a trauma that happened in your life that’s so deep, it’s hidden. Sometimes known as soul pain, this is the kind of pain where you may not even know why you’re in pain or why you do what you do.

Soul pain relates to your identity. If you need the approval of others to feel you have value as a person, you will likely struggle with being controlled by other’s opinions for the rest of your life.  But when you find your identity in Christ and who he says you are, you don’t need the approval of others to feel affirmed as a person.  And you’re free to make right choices instead of choices under the duress of approval-seeking.

Proverbs 29:25 says “It is a dangerous trap to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you’ll be safe.”  Many failures in life can be remedied by trusting in the Lord and who He says you are, rather than seeking the affirmation or approval of others. 

You are His precious child, bought with the blood of Jesus Christ.  That’s what gives you value more than any other thing.  Rest in that truth. 

Reflect:

  • Whose approval or affirmation do you most concern yourself with?
  • Confess that before God and renew your trust in Him, seeking to find your identity in Him and Him alone.

This Changes Everything Day 19

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Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Devotional: The apostle Paul was well acquainted with failure.  He spent a few years of his life as a hypocrite, murdering followers of Jesus.

He penned these words to the church at Corinth to encourage them as they struggled with failure and weakness.  He highlights the fact that our shortcomings only magnify the greatness of God and His power. 

That’s displayed in the life of Peter as well.  We saw earlier this week how he denied Jesus. But after grieving his failure, he didn’t go around in despair. He didn’t go around in condemnation. He didn’t go around in guilt. He didn’t walk around in shame or regret. He wasn’t timid, thinking God could never use him.

Peter walked in hope.  In spite of his failure, his life was filled with hope. Why? Because of the mercy of God.  Later, Peter said from personal experience. “Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Why did Peter tell people to do that? Because that’s what he did when he failed. He cast all his anxiety and failure on the mercy of God.

You can too.

Reflect:

  • What anxiety, failure or weakness do you need to cast on to God today, that you might receive His mercy?

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