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Jumping Off the People-Pleasing Train

First Reading: Galatians 1:6-12

Brothers and sisters:
I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking
the one who called you by the grace of Christ
for a different gospel (not that there is another).
But there are some who are disturbing you
and wish to pervert the Gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven
should preach to you a gospel
other than the one that we preached to you,
let that one be accursed!
As we have said before, and now I say again,
if anyone preaches to you a gospel
other than the one that you received,
let that one be accursed!

Am I now currying favor with human beings or God?
Or am I seeking to please people?
If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a slave of Christ.

Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin.
For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it,
but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 111:1B-2, 7-8, 9 AND 10C

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.

Gospel: Luke 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

NAB

oct-3

Reading Saint Paul’s words to the Galatians in today’s First Reading hit me between the eyes when I first read it:

Am I now currying favor with human beings or God?
Or am I seeking to please people?
If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a slave of Christ.

As a recovering people-pleaser, I struggle to release my desire for acceptance and esteem from others even as I realize the only One I should strive to please is God Himself.

When we decided to move across the country, leaving family, friends, ministry and community behind, some people thought we were crazy. Why would sell our home and move to a place we knew so very little about?

Frankly, I didn’t know how to respond to their disapproving queries. I wondered if we were making the biggest mistake of our lives. Eventually, however, I saw God’s hand opening doors both small and large as we progressed in our plans to drop our nets and follow Him. The more we trusted and obeyed Him, the more easily I was able to lovingly detach myself from others’ expectations and criticisms.

With practice, I’ve found that the previously endless cycle of ‘what ifs’—what if I say or do this, and it makes him or her respond like that?—doesn’t plague me nearly as much now as I seek to align my words and actions with the desires of my Heavenly Father.

As Saint Paul explains to the Galatians, when we’re busy focusing all our time and energy on pleasing those around us, how will we have anything left with which to please our God? And isn’t pleasing Him what matters most?

Is there some way God wants you to serve Him yet you’ve been reluctant because of what others may think? Do you trust Him enough to potentially put others’ approval aside in favor of His?

[bctt tweet=”Do you trust Him enough to put others’ approval aside in favor of His? // @realcatholicmom” username=”blessedisshe__”]

Sit with your Heavenly Father for a moment today, dear sister. Breathe in His peace and listen with the ears of your heart to how He is leading you. Ask the Holy Spirit for the wisdom and courage to hear and obey His will. Seek to please Him alone.

Heather Renshaw is a writer, speaker, and uplifter on a mission to love and serve God with her husband and five children in the Pacific NW. You can learn more about her here.

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