Hello my loves,
It is officially May. Can you even believe it? May is one of those months like December where we try to squeeze in as much as possible. We have 3 graduations, graduation parties, a school BBQ, 2 Cinco de Mayo events, teacher appreciation week, a book fair, dress up week for the book fair, a field trip, Reading Restaurant (I’m not even sure what that is?!), Mother’s Day, a women’s event at church, Memorial Day, ballet, gymnastics and the end of school. Yikes!
I’m already tired and the month hasn’t even started. So expensive. So many people to please. So many expectations.
Here’s what I am trying to decide BEFORE May even begins: There will be people that I disappoint. There will be events that I can’t attend. There will be meetings that I miss. And that’s ok. None of the events that I listed are bad. They are all good and (mostly) fun things! I just don’t want to let a busy calendar conquer me.
Before we left Gateway, one of our bosses pulled us aside and said, “Get ready to disappoint people. Pastoring involves a lot of people being disappointed in you.” At the time, I was thinking, “Well, thanks so much for that encouraging word!” It didn’t take very long to realize that she was right.
There’s a fine line between being there for people (as we are called to be) and people pleasing (which is sinful). Here’s what the Bible says about people pleasing:
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant,” (Gal 1:10 NLT emphasis added).
“Fear and intimidation is a trap that holds you back. But when you place your confidence in the Lord, you will be seated in the high place,” (Proverbs 29:25 TPT).
This is another post that I am writing in the middle of my learning. I struggle in this area maybe more than any other. People’s opinions of me hold WAY too much real estate in my mind. People pleasing is a sin because it is an idol. It’s what happens when we put our need for man’s approval over God’s approval. Jesus lived to please only His Father. Let’s take a quick look at what He said on the matter:
“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise,” (John 5:19 ESV).
Jesus is our model. Everything He did was out of obedience to God. He healed, fed, and taught out of His great love for people, but He wasn’t always “fluffy”. He turned over tables in the temple and repeatedly rebuked the disciples and Pharisees. He was more concerned with obeying God and seeing the truth preached, than being liked. In fact, many people didn’t like Him and it led to His death.
I know that’s an extreme example when we are talking about how many parties to say yes to this month! But I do think that the principles are the same. Jesus went out of His way to show people that He loved them. We should too. But He also had boundaries, and we should too.
It is very important to me that people feel like I am approachable and will be there for them. I want to be the person you call on when you are struggling. However, it’s prideful for me to think I can carry everyone’s stuff on my own. I end up running myself ragged and my family gets less of me than they deserve. Then I get to the end of a month and wonder if I accomplished anything. Life often feels like it happens to me and I am stuck dealing with the consequences. What if we looked at each month with our goals in mind? What if May was an opportunity for us to conquer some of our struggles? What if we took a healthy look at our schedules and intentionally scheduled our priorities first for the sake of our families and sanities?
If you can’t make it to an event, be free and don’t stress. If you can’t afford to buy gifts for everything, make something or write a note. We have 31 days to steward this month. Let’s not spend them stressed out trying to please people. Let’s show people we love them AND maintain our peace.
What are your goals? What do you want to see happen in your family over the next 31 days? Pray that way, have a family meeting, cast vision, and then celebrate when those things happen. I’ve made us a Conquering May worksheet. Feel free to print it off and use it. Here is an example of mine.
“When there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul,” (Prov. 29:19 TPT).
We are conquerors. Let’s conquer May.