That’s It – I Quit!

20 11 2013

“God, I can’t do this anymore. I’m done!” I yelled, frustrated beyond reason. “I’ve given it my best shot, tried as best I could, and yet I fail at every turn.

I QUIT!”

This is the danger of living life with “bounded sets” – the rules by which we try to live in order to prove that we are “Christian” by our behavior. The effort of trying to make everyone happy is exhausting…and God is just one more Person to add into the mix.

When life is comprised of bounded sets – one for every situation, the cost is high.

Self-evaluation is done by comparison. As a result we feel:

Like we don’t measure up

Either proud of how “good” we are or ashamed of how “bad”

A nagging sense of guilt

Confused

Insecure

Trapped

Lonely

Worthless

At the end of the day we feel:

Lonely

Phony

Hopeless

Isolated

We view others as:

Competition

A threat

We judge them by their appearance and behavior.

We view God as:

A harsh taskmaster

Judge

Disappointed with us

An “Indian-giver”

and believe that:

God’s goodness to me is in proportion to my good behavior – He is good to me if I am good, and mean to me if I am bad.

When our primary goal in life is to please everyone, there is no rest for our souls.

We have to remember the “norms” for ever person (or group of people) that we are expected to exhibit. This is not limited to a religious context, but also in lifestyle choices.

Every situation requires that we remember to “Do this…(whatever the bounded set may call for)…and you are “good” or “okay.”

The focus is always the external behavior.

There is no room for negative emotions. If we feel (trapped, lonely, insecure, etc.) we believe it is because we are “less spiritual” and something is wrong between God and us.

We become Pharisees, heaping rules upon ourselves that are impossible to keep.

What’s more, we impose these standards on others – who rarely want to play along.

Our expectations of ourselves and others are impossibly high, and as a result, are always on guard; wary of offending others – and continually offended by them.

Life becomes one wound after another, one broken relationship after another…

Families implode

Friends become enemies

Churches become battle grounds

We steer clear of social gatherings

We shut down our hearts

Then the day comes when we are done with the whole mess. We can’t live up to others’ expectation (or our own, for that matter), and we know it. We get sick and tired of feeling guilty all the time. Frustrated, fed up, and angry, we rebel.

Which, of course, means that we simply exchange one bounded set for a new one:

I’m going to look out for Number One

I deserve, and therefore will have…

I am going to have fun

Stay out of my way.

“To hell with everyone else, I’m going to live life on my terms!”

Let’s peek under the hood for a minute and see what makes this thing go.

What motivates this kind of behavior?

Fear:

…of not being liked

or accepted

or loved

…of being abandoned as worthless

…of rejection

You see, people-pleasing is the “prettiest” face selfishness can wear. It looks good from the outside, but the true motive is self-serving at its core. Few of the things we do from the bounded set are motivated by love for others, or with their best interest in mind. First Corinthians 13 opens with these words:

“If I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but do not have love,

“I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 

“And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love,

I am nothing.

“And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, 

“It profits me NOTHING.”

We can do all the “good” things that are humanly possible, but if love is not the motivation we might as well live selfishly; the result is the same:

“Wood, hay, and stubble”

We will not be rewarded for our “sacrificial giving”…but will end our days angry, bitter old codgers that no one wants to be around.

How is this an obstacle to intimacy with God?

Isn’t He the One with the Big Black Rule Book, filled with all those do’s and don’ts? Isn’t He the One demanding that I be His slave and please Him? He wants to run my life and make me His puppet, His doormat for the world.

Here I am doing all these things for others, and what do I get for it? Put down, walked on, used, and abused.

This is how He treats His children??? Really???

It was just a couple of years ago that I finally had enough of this garbage and “quit” on God.

Imagine my surprise when that Still, Small Voice responded,

“It’s about time!”

*****

In my next post, we will talk about a better way to live. Until then, let’s begin to question our motives for everything we do. “Am I doing this out of love for the other person…or to take care of myself?”

We’re discussing Obstacles to Intimacy with God. If you missed the beginning of the series, you can find it here: C’mon In…

Advertisements

Actions

Information

27 responses

19 12 2013
truthofgods

Thanks for the visit..May God bless you and your family during this Holiday season..

24 11 2013
Tracey

Reblogged this on twewordplay and commented:
This is wonderful!!!

24 11 2013
dianarasmussen

Reblogged this on Prayers and Promises and commented:
Great series from Tami on Intimacy with God.
People pleasing = “the prettiest face selfishness can wear”…

24 11 2013
Julie Garro

When you wrote “trying to please everyone” – that’s it exactly. We can only serve God. God will use our service for His good. Blessings to you.

24 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

22 11 2013
melwild

Ha ha…I like the “it’s about time” of God. Great insights here… 🙂

22 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Took me totally by surprise! 🙂 He often does. I’ve learned much about Him – from Him in this way. He is awesome!!!

\o/

22 11 2013
nopew

“God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks into the heart” (1 Sam 16:7b GW).
Peace

22 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Wish I was better at this! 🙂

\o/

23 11 2013
nopew

At least we have forever to work on it!
Peace

23 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

21 11 2013
beverley

actually it’s not ‘love’ it’s ‘charity’ the pure love of Jesus Christ something we can never live up to in this life, because it is only when we knee at his feet at the resurrection and the judgement will we be perfected through Him. For now all we can do is get on the ‘strait and narrow path’ and keep walking. Neither going to the left or to the right. We can only walk this path for ourselves and even our nearest and dearest have to walk it for themselves, although we can walk together if our paths happen to cross. So stay on the path keep walking and don’t quit x

21 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Beverley! 🙂

\o/

20 11 2013
Pure Glory

So true! People pleasing is selfishness, what a concept. The motivation of our heart gives the key. What wisdom! Thanks for sharing.

20 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I didn’t see that myself until typing this post. That blew my mind!

\o/

20 11 2013
Pure Glory

Holy Spirit and his revelation is amazing!

21 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

20 11 2013
defythenarrative

Love this, good work.

20 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

{thanks!}

\o/

20 11 2013
dianarasmussen

Wow, lots of good things for me to chew on here Tami. The “pretty face” of selfishness – so true!

20 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

That one took me by surprise. I hadn’t seen people pleasing in that light before.

\o/

20 11 2013
TeachX3

Love it! 😀

“We become Pharisees, heaping rules upon ourselves that are impossible to keep.” … *sigh* great line.

God bless and keep you sis!

20 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

The line might be great; the load we get when we do this…not so much. 🙂

\o/

20 11 2013
TeachX3

ah, exactly and it is that truth that makes the line so great :/ does that even make sense? LOL

20 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

I got it! 🙂

\o/

20 11 2013
Marijo Phelps

Thank our Lord we never quit learning at His most wonderful footstool – I am so glad you wrote this one!

20 11 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

Your turn!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: