The verse above is the piece of Scripture that God stopped me at during my quiet time, specifically the part I bolded. I read and reread it several times, praying for God to show me what He wanted me to see. I understood the context of its meaning. Jesus had just spoken to the Pharisees about serving two masters and their love of money.
In fact, Jesus made this statement as these men who thought of themselves as the source of Godly truth were sneering at Him.
I clearly saw what Jesus wanted them to see, but what did God want me to learn here? I’ve confessed in the past that I’m a people pleaser. God has brought me a long way from where I used to be and continues to work in this area of my life. I’m still working on the word “no.” (sheepish grin)
So, it’s through this lens of change that I viewed this Scripture as to how to apply it to my life. The Pharisees viewed themselves successful based upon the opinions of others. They were valued and seen as authorities and representatives of the truths in the Torah.
I felt my ouch button get just slightly pushed. Yes, God has been working in my heart to please Him, not others. To not base my worth and acceptance upon the opinions and acceptance of others but only on who I am according to Jesus. This journey the past year has been intense and my personal proof of just how far God has brought me came just last week with my post, Share Jesus and Be Real. Definitely bold for me and out of my comfort zone.
Back to that ouch button. Just a slight pinch. Where? I’ve been checking and rechecking my motivations in my friendships and in my online exchanges—any type of people interaction.
Except my husband.
The ouch button pushed down a little more. A gentle push, mind you, because Jesus is always kind when teaching us His truth. This time, the truth was that I’d placed too great a value on my husband’s approval, higher at times than living my faith out loud.
I knew I hadn’t compromised my faith or stepped away from what I believed, but were there times when I’d chosen to be silent or not share completely out of my desire to keep my husband’s favor instead of following God’s lead to be forthright?
I had to answer yes, I had and ask God’s forgiveness. This is one of those fine lines we the believing spouse walks where we place a higher value on our place in our marriage than our obedience to God.
Oh, ouch again.
No, I’m not saying that we should suddenly discard the truth that our actions speak louder than words. Actually, my desire is to affirm it even more. But sometimes our actions will still stir the waters of peace and contentment in our marriage when it comes to a choice of faith. Sometimes the right choice is the one that affirms our faith and yet still causes contention with our spouse. As Lynn would say, that’s a time to “stand up.”
Now don’t get those index cards out and start putting Scripture all over your house. That’s being manipulative and not at all what I’m saying here. Our motivations need to be pure and out of a desire to do what God is asking us to do.
Sometimes the right choice (obedience to God) will still cause issues, but we can claim reassurance and peace that we have done what God asked us and by serving Him, we have pleased the one who matters most.
Praying and believing,