It’s difficult to not feel pressure in a society that praises works, beauty and monetary status, when all you’re trying to concern your mind with is how your life will be used to glorify God.
How can you be sure you’re following the will of God, and not trying to prove something to the world? I don’t think we’ll ever have a black and white answer; God doesn’t grant us clarity most of the time. Yet, He does grant us peace of mind.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” —Isaiah 26:3
Whatever causes you to question your life—your career, your passions—it’s OK to wonder where it came from. It could be as small as a belittlement from someone. These inferior remarks can only plant one thing inside of you though. The urge to prove them wrong.
It’s not your job to prove anything to anyone. It’s your job to show Christ, to glorify Christ, to love on Christ in everything that you do. You already have God’s approval. He did that for you on the cross.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” —Galatians 1:10
This is what I wish I could tell those who are facing this cursed pressure of society—who feel more like they have to prove something to people, verses being able to live their life to the fullest in Christ.
Don’t forget who made your fingers. Your hands. Don’t forget who formed inside you a passion. Your talents. Your gifts. Don’t forget whose eyes see the motives of your heart. Whose love abounds greater than people. Don’t forget that status is temporary. Beauty is fleeting. Don’t forget that the works you do for God, are the things that have eternal life. Don’t listen to the lies that scream beauty and money and materialistic things are what makes you who you are. Don’t forget that in the end, when we are stripped down to our souls—Christ isn’t looking for the most beautiful, most talented or most successful. He is looking for His reflection.
“And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” —Job 19:25-27
He is looking for the person after His own heart, and for the treasures you stored inside for Him, as He tell us to do in Matthew 6:19-22.
It can be very easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you have to prove who you are and the “amount” of worth you deem yourself. And therefore, falling into the route of bettering yourself, rather than your soul.
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” —Matthew 16:26
The feelings of proving your worth, or status or even who you claim yourself to be—these thoughts trace the very edges of the prosperity gospel—something many, sadly, fall into.
The moment we realize that people’s opinions of us are so diminutive in comparison to God’s—will be the moment status storms out, and when Christ is able to shine greater within us. Does this mean discouragement won’t come? Of course not. This is where our hope lies—in the promises of God—that He is the God He says He is.
“I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.” —Malachi 3:6
It is not our purpose to override what God has marked out for us, it has always been our purpose to walk into them. You will know if you are acting on your own accord.
However, God’s plan for our lives isn’t always going to be recognizable. It probably won’t even looked like it has been marked, at least, that is how it is for most of us. This is where faith strides in, because our unknown is already known to a very knowing God. It’s a matter of putting our trust in the innermost parts of our beings, where God resides. Let’s not forget this.