Tonight the Lord took me to Matthew 7:3:
Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?
My first thought was something like “Gosh, You’re being pretty hard on me aren’t You?” Then I realized I needed to hear it. I had actually thought of the verse earlier this evening after I had prayed. I realized I have been critical of others styles of praying when they pray aloud (one person in particular whose style is one that stretches me). But here’s the thing… at least they’re DOING IT! I knew God was chastening me again – and it was warranted. (He must love me a lot, He’s been chastening me a lot!)
Even in other areas I am guilty of this as well – really what we’re talking about here is comparisons. God doesn’t want us comparing ourselves – only He knows who has which gifts and which talents – only He knows what each of us is capable of, yet we are forever comparing ourselves to others – sometimes to build ourselves up by putting someone else down (e.g. “well at least I do it better than they do!”) and sometimes to cut ourselves down (e.g. “I could never do it like they do!”). Both of those things are wrong.
We need to be seeking God’s face for understanding on “how we’re doing” – not man. Only He knows our best. Only He know the circumstances. Only He knows.
And really this gets back to what I prayed this morning, the approval of man. If we are God-pleasers, then we really only care what He thinks. Further, if we are seeking anyone else’s approval, then we are NOT pleasing God! If He is happy, all is well, and if He’s not, get to work! Huh. Now I understand why He thought this was pertinent to share with me!
First of all, please forgive me for seeking approval other than Yours. In my heart I truly want to please You. Yet I know I consistently seek the approval of man. God help me. I cannot please You if I am seeking to please them. Burn it out of me. I want to be a God pleaser! Just saying that brings a fear over me because I know You will do it and I shudder to think of what that might look like! Yet I truly want it. Make me pleasing to You, God. Thank You for Your patience 🙂