Chickens often stay in the same chicken yard for their entire lives, but eagles learn to fly to new heights. Never give up; face your fears with God’s help and leave the “chicken mentality” behind!
If you want to break free from where you are now and move to the next level in life, the first thing you must deal with is the fear of what people think. So many of our decisions are made to please people, not to please God. We fail to follow our hearts, but we live to please people around us because we want their acceptance and approval. We want them to like us; we want to be a part of the group, we don’t want them to judge us, criticize us, or speak negatively about us.
The Apostle Paul dealt with this issue in Galatians 1:10: “If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ.” In other words, had he chosen to care about what people thought of him or sought to be popular, he could not have served the Lord the way he did. The same may be true in your life.
Wanting to please people is a fairly natural desire, but if you are out of balance and have an excessive need for people’s approval, the devil can use that to steal your destiny. You will never be all God wants you to be if your goal is to please people.
I discovered that the people in my life didn’t want to make a full commitment to serving God tried to keep me from doing so. People usually try to get us to do what they are doing, rather than giving us the freedom to make our own choices. We must not give in to their pressure because eventually each of us will stand before God and give an account of our lives. We won’t answer to people; we will answer to God, so we should live to please Him and Him alone.
On Thursday evening November 10th I was talking with a dear friend, Mrs. Mary Raines. I was in need of some words of wisdom and my Mother has always taught me that there is wisdom in years and experience. Mrs. Mary is my elder and I sought her Godly advice.
During our telephone conversation she mentioned to me that she once saw a sign that read, “I have nothing to prove but Someone to please.” This is so true and I thank Mrs. Mary for sharing this with me and I would like to share this with you. God didn’t put me on this earth to prove anything to anyone. In order to hear my Lord say, “Well done thy good and faithful servant I must please my first love, my Lord and Savior.
I believe you really want to go on with God; you have a hunger to go deeper in Him; you want to be an eagle. But to do that, you will have to take the chance that some of your friends or co-workers may not understand you. Let’s face it: reading your Bible during your lunch break or taking a walk and praying instead of gossiping may not be popular behavior in the environment where you live or work. People may ridicule you, but the reason for this is that your good choices cause them to feel convicted. They may call you “holier than thou” or say you have become a religious fanatic who thinks you are better than everybody else. They may reject you or speak unkindly about you, but if you know your heart’s desire is simply to love God and serve Him with your whole heart, then keep pressing forward and don’t let anything stop you.
As I mentioned, most of the time, the people who are upset with you for wanting to move on with God are those who do not want to go on with Him themselves. As soon as you find one other Christian who shares the same values you have and wants to participate in the same activities in which you participate, you have a new friend. God is faithful. When you want to go on in Him, He will give you new friends and surround you with people that are like-minded. I cannot promise you will not have to go through some lonely times first, but I do know God will provide the friends and companionship you need. I have certainly been through lonely times in my life (maybe I should say there have been times when I was misunderstood); if you feel lonely, don’t be discouraged because things will eventually change.
John 12: 42-43 depicts a very sad situation, one that characterizes so many people’s lives. And yet (in spite of all this) many even of the leading men (the authorities and the nobles) believed and trusted in Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that (if they should acknowledge Him) they would be expelled from the synagogue; for they loved the approval and the praise and the glory that come from men (instead of and) more than the glory that comes from God. (They valued their credit with men more than their credit with God).
The men in this passage missed having a deep relationship with God because they cared more about what people thought than about what God thought. Please don’t be this way! Do whatever you must do to reach the point where you care more about what God thinks than about what your family, friends, neighbors, or colleagues think. Seek to please Him and you can soar with the eagles instead of scratching around the chicken yard with the chickens.
By faith I keep pressing on!