MEASURING UP

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Do you ever find yourself trying hard to please others?  Do you find that you compromise to fit in with a group, changing into someone you’re not?   Do you let things go unsaid so that you don’t offend or incur someone’s wrath?  In other words, are you a people pleaser?

One day, I finally decided that this would no longer describe me.  I would always have an uneasy feeling after conversations that did not glorify God or point people to his truth.  I wasn’t going to change myself, my opinions, or my values to fit in, gain acceptance, or go along with the majority.  But lately, I have made a very conscious effort to ask, “What pleases God?”  Recently, Luke 10:27 has been ringing in my ears over and over:

Not only do I not want to be a people pleaser, I want to take it a step further and consistently ask, “What pleases God? “ For me that means measuring my actions, my words – everything, by what God says is good.  Do I hit that mark every time?  By no means.  I’m thankful for the advocate and for His grace.

I John 2:1 reads, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”    

I am very much a rule follower, so this fits in nicely.  I grew up in a pretty strict household, and I suppose over the last 49 years, I’ve discovered that my life goes better when I follow the rules.  Trust me, I’ve tested it!  For the last 15 years or so, God’s Word has been my rule book, the guardrails of my life.  Some rules are easy to follow; don’t kill anyone; don’t covet what someone else has; don’t lie; don’t steal…you know how it goes.    However, “You shall not make for yourself an Idol” – now that’s a tough one!  You might think because you don’t have a golden calf on your granite countertop that you don’t have an idol.  The sneaky thing about an idol is, you don’t know you have one, until you are forced to be without it.  An idol might be your child, your husband, your home or your job.  Your idol may be the next drink or drug fix.  We should love our children and our husbands but love God more!  An idol is anything that has become more important than pleasing God and being obedient to His word.measure 2.jpeg

I am learning to set aside the idol of pleasing people by doing the following.  I put aside my wants and my needs to focus on what God wants from me.  We are told in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”  When I’m scolded for not doing the things that someone else thinks are right, I measure my actions against what God wants me to do, which He tells me in Ephesians 4:15, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”   When someone is offended or hurt because I’ve tried to speak the truth, I measure that with what God says.

John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind they hated me first.”  When someone feels like I should walk away from a difficult situation, I measure that with what Jesus tells me to do: Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

Is it hard?  YES!  Sometimes I find myself rethinking, re-evaluating and replaying situations.  Then I look to my Rule Book.  Were my actions and attitudes consistent with God’s word?  In making the conscious choice to not people please, God has gently removed those who would try to lead me away from him, those who choose the world over Christ.  At first I missed them, but then bowing to God’s will, I’ve found new joy in Him alone because those who love the Lord with all their heart find that his ways are ways of pleasantness, and all paths are peace.  Proverbs 3:17 “Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.” 

-Alice Skaggs

Alice.jpgI have been married to Steve Skaggs for 20 years!  He is my best friend.  We have three beautiful grown daughters, three great sons-in-laws and two grandsons.  We’ve both lived in Louisville all our lives.  I have a very large family which I love dearly (11 brothers & sisters, 11 in-laws, countless nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews).  I was raised Catholic but made a change in 2000 and joined a Baptist church.  My life has been so blessed since then.  I work for the Kentucky Baptist Convention in Accounting and I love my job.  I’m just a girl who loves God and has found extraordinary peace and joy in Him no matter life’s circumstances.  I love helping people do the same. 

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