“I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” Jn 5:30 NIV
Know who you are trying to please. Jesus didn’t try to please everybody, so isn’t it foolish for you to try to do something even God doesn’t do? It was a settled issue with Jesus: “I’m going to please God, period!” And God replied, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). When you lose sight of who you’re trying to please you’ll always cave in to three things: (1) Criticism, because you’re overly concerned about what others think of you. (2) Competition, because you’re afraid somebody will get ahead of you. (3) Conflict, because you’re threatened by anyone who disagrees with you. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [that you’re stressed out over] shall be added unto you” (Mt 6:33). By focusing on God’s will you simplify your life! You’ll always be doing the right thing, the thing that pleases Him, regardless of what anybody else thinks. We love to blame stress on other people and on our obligations: “You made me do…I have to…I’ve got to.” Actually, there are few things in life apart from our jobs that we must do. So what we’re really saying is, “I choose to [you fill in the blank] because I don’t want to handle the consequences.” Rarely does anybody make us do anything, so we can’t blame other people for our stress. When we feel pressured, we’re choosing to let others put us there. The fact is, we’re not victims unless we allow ourselves to be pressured by outside demands.