Back when I was a new Christian, I found it extremely difficult to be around some Christians that had a relationship with the Lord a lot longer than me. It seemed that no matter what I did, what I said or how I acted, it was unacceptable to them. I was always coming up short in their eyes and found myself continually trying to please them; just hoping they would accept me and believe that I was a Christian too; just like they were. But nothing seemed to work. Now granted; I still had areas of my life that needed to change; and as the Lord revealed those areas, I tried diligently to obey. I honestly thought I was making drastic changes from how I used to be; yet, not fast enough for others. One thing I did do was spend less time with those that discouraged me and spent more time with the Lord. Yet in my young Christian mind, I was naive enough to think that once I made more changes, certainly others would see and accept me; right? Wrong! I still came up short.
I love the way Romans 12:9-17 (NKJV) describes how a Christian should behave; with love, kindness and affection towards others; diligent in the things of the Lord; steadfast in prayer; generous towards those in need; and of course loving folks that aren’t so nice. Admittedly, I failed miserably in this last area. I grew bitter and angry and didn’t even want to be around them anymore. To be honest, I just didn’t feel loved by those Christians and I even started to question if I wanted to be one myself.
I remember thinking, “If this is what Christianity is all about, then it’s not for me.”
How sad & pathetic. I was ready to throw in the towel; all because others didn’t see me the way the Lord saw in me. I’m so thankful the Lord knew what I was thinking. Psalm 39:1-2 (NKJV) “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.”
In all of His wisdom, the Lord placed two Godly women in my path; seasoned Christians that understood God’s principles and they treated me with genuine love. These women gave me spiritual guidance as the Holy Spirit led them and God continued to do some amazing work within me. One would think that would have been sufficient; but none the less, I was still troubled about what others thought. Just couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get their approval. That is; until one day I’ll never forget. I was spending time with the Lord; bringing Him all my concerns, including the approval issue I was struggling with.
And in a very clear, distinct, loving voice, I heard His Holy Spirit say, “Stop trying to please man; please Me!”
Immediately I felt that heavy burden lift right off my shoulders. I finally got it; finally understood. It was ok that I still had rough edges and God was still changing me as He deemed necessary; and it didn’t matter what other’s thought of His process or what they thought of me.
Maybe you’re a new Christian and have experienced the same type of rejection from other believers. Let me encourage you to stay focused and trust that the Lord will lead & direct every step. If you need to get rid of sin in your life, the Holy Spirit will convict your heart; just be sure to obey quickly. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
Or quite possibly you’ve been a Christian for a long time and the Holy Spirit has convicted you on how you’ve treated new believers. Let me encourage you to repent and if at all possible, quickly make things right with the one you may have offended. Tomorrow could be too late. Remember, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.” Matthew 5:13 (ESV)
· We all have areas in our lives that need to change
· Be a salty Christian
· We need only to please God; not man
It’s that simple folks!
Be blessed my family & friends!
Walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Love you all,