True Obedience

John 14:15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.

Jesus was obedient to God and loved people well. He didn’t people-please, hoping to be well liked and accepted by everyone. And when people didn’t like what He had to say and they walked away from Him — and many people did — He didn’t drop His boundaries, chase the people down, and beg them to take Him back. Jesus loved people enough to give them the choice to walk away.

God calls us to obey Him. God does not call us to obey every wish and whim of other people and keep them happy at all costs. God calls us to love other people. God does not call us to demand that they love us back and meet every need we have.

If we are afraid someone will think poorly of us, potentially abandon us or try to make us feel crazy when we speak up about something, chances are that, without wise boundaries, they will eventually do all three of these things to us.

So how can we stop being afraid of conflict and step away from unhealthy people-pleasing? We can start by breathing in the words of Jesus in John 15:9: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”  When we remember we are loved by God, we can remain in His love. We can allow this truth to inform our thoughts and actions. Knowing we’re loved, we can prayerfully consider needed conversations or necessary boundaries in our relationships. We can pursue a healthier approach to inevitable conflicts we all deal with, facing issues with grace and humility. 

Knowing we’re loved, we can release the fear and anxiety people-pleasing breeds in us.

(This devotional was written and shared by a friend in South Africa)

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