By: Mandy Hill
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Do you ever feel weary from trying to please others? Do you find yourself seeking the approval from your friends, co-workers, or spouse? Are you seeking to meet unrealistic expectations for yourself….aiming to achieve perfection and then beating yourself up or feeling guilty when you do not meet these expectations?
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” If you answered yes to any of the questions above; Jesus was speaking to a people like you. You see, the people he was speaking to in this particular passage, were living under the law of the Pharisee’s. Pharisee’s were people who expected perfection in order for love to be given….if perfection was not obtained, they withheld their love.
Do you have a Pharisee in your life? Someone you desperately try to please, but never can? Jesus says that you don’t have to live like that. People pleasing is an exhausting road with no exit…..but Jesus says: “Come to me…..and I will give you rest.”
So sisters, please, when you go about your day, be mindful of your motives. Are you doing what you’re doing to meet the approval of someone here on this earth, or are you doing what you’re doing because you have peace, love and joy from The Lord in your heart, and want to serve Him and only Him in all of your ways?
Likewise, be mindful that you are not acting like a Pharisee yourself. Do you hold expectations over a loved one (kids, spouse, co-worker, etc) and when those expectations are unmet, withhold love, affection and/or approval from them? Tuck this verse away in your heart: “And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) We all have our flaws and imperfections, friends. Be a grace-giver, not an accuser.
Father God, thank you for true rest that can only come from you. I pray for a confidence that is indicative of the stability and consistency that you are in our life; may we seek to please you and only you. We know, God, that you are like streams of fresh flowing water in a dry desert land. I pray for a fresh reminder of this truth; please keep us mindful, Jesus, that you are SO much more than enough. Where my friends once placed efforts to meet the approval of others, I pray that you will envelop them with a knowing that you are pleased with them and their efforts; please let that be all that matters. In the same way, please convict our hearts if we are ‘being the Pharisee’. Let grace reside where expectations and accusation once dwelt. I pray this in your precious name, Jesus, Amen.