Aiming to Please

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devotional verse

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15

Tell me if you’ve heard this one:

A college level athlete is deeply dissatisfied relationally, even though he has peers, fans, women, and universities groveling for his attention. All because a single seat in the stands remains empty: his father isn’t there. He’s never been there.

If you have watched a family movie lately, chances are you have had the director attempt to pull you in with a story like this woven into the plot. Chances are it was not done well.

Yet, being attentive to popular movies that are cliché and poorly executed is sometimes worthwhile because they may reveal something profound about the human experience.

The human heart is hardwired to long for the affections and attentions of a single, deeply admired person above and beyond the adulation of the crowd, whether they are Christian or not.

Our endless need for affection, for attention, for help, and for wisdom requires no less than an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and perfectly loving Father. Our disdain for approval that is fickle or unpredictable requires a Father with whom there is, “no variation nor shadow due to change” (James 1:17). Our need to have a consistent and secure relationship, despite our less than consistent performance, requires a relationship based not on our performance, but on that of Christ.

Let us run to the only One who can fill the vast needs of our finite and dependent hearts.

Father, please help me to see that when I am filled with angst or worry over human approval and attention, it’s really my heart’s cry for You. Show me how to draw closer to You every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Do you have someone in your life you’re constantly trying to please? Confess to your heavenly Father today, and ask Him how to seek His approval alone.

By Thomas Pujol

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