Continuous change leads to loss of self.
I met him while pastoring my first church, and we soon became good friends. Since he was a computer guru and I wasn’t, I kept the telephone line between his house and mine hopping. His pastoral advice was also helpful, and he kept me positive when the outlook appeared bleak. But he was a chameleon. His unrealistic goal to keep all his members happy kept him changing colors and stressed. He is nearing retirement now, still at the same church, and still trying to please everyone.
God commissioned Paul to take the gospel to the known world, and he too was planning to change colors to see people come to Christ. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. (I Corinthians 9:22 NKJV)
While I, like Paul, am to go to great lengths to convince others they need Christ, I can’t change the gospel message to make it more palatable. And if my life’s ambition is to please everyone, I’ll fail and lose myself in the process. Jesus was perfect yet didn’t gratify everyone—nor did he try. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love him with all my heart, soul, and mind and then to love my neighbor as I love myself.
My life objective should be to determine who God created me to be and then accomplish those plans. Everyone and everything else is secondary. Constantly changing colors for other people clouds my eyes and prevents me from seeing my ultimate purpose. Living with a continual fear that I’ve displeased someone also generates a constant state of stress, tension, and anxiety—emotional states God never intends for me to live in.
Are you constantly changing colors for other people? Let God teach you how to change only for an audience of One.
Prayer: Merciful Savior, may living to please You be our life’s goal.
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