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I was painfully shy. These things combined to make me an easy target. And as things generally go with school children, a number of kids took aim. Because my daydreaming caused me to be scatterbrained and accident prone, when anything went wrong in the classroom—like a poster falling off the wall or something—all 26 kids would chant my name in unison, joking that everything was always my fault.

To them it was funny, to me it was collective shaming. For years, I felt like a misfit and a mistake. These experiences likely contributed to my childhood eagerness to please others and to fit in. And during my teens this desire gave rise to a whole series of sin issues as you can imagine. Now in my 40s, I am less insecure than in my teens and 20s.

By God's grace my confidence, being rooted in Christ, has grown. By God's grace, I am happily married with three kids. By God's grace, I've distanced myself from negative, judgmental, over-critical people and have been blessed with edifying relationships—with friends and family who encourage me and build me up in Christ while allowing me to do the same for them. This doesn't mean everything is perfect far from it! And for this answer to prayer, I am very, very thankful.

But every now and then, the fear of condemnation and disapproval still sneaks in. I still struggle with the people-pleasing urge from time-to-time. And I've noticed that it's when I start making things more about me, and less about Him that the niggling temptation creeps back in. As a recovering people-pleaser, I especially dislike posting an article that I know a number of people will be offended by, or won't agree with I pray over it, I post it I wince because writing on the Christian worldview, apologetics, and matters of biblical discernment will always ruffle some feathers and touch some nerves.

I wince because I know it's not likely to be a popular point of view. I am still in recovery, after all! And in our anything-goes culture of relativism in which the "just do you" mantra carries way more weight than the "die to self" one, biblical discernment is not a trendy topic. It requires humility, raw honesty, and vulnerability—all things that are challenging for a recovering people-pleaser like me.

And all things that are currently not en vogue in our post-modern culture don't get duped by those humble braggers on social media! Suffice it to say, it's hard to go against the cultural flow when you're a recovering people-pleaser. The thing is, the Christian worldview is offensive.

This is because the Bible is offensive For, "as it is written, 'Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. As the above verse illustrates, the gospel is essentially both loving and offensive at the same time.

For, "this is love: In other words, the slaughter of God's own Son illuminates both the magnitude of His love for us as well as the seriousness of our sin—sin that can only be ransomed by Jesus' death on the Cross. And the latter can be an unpalatable, repugnant thing to the post-modern palate. Especially when the world constantly tells us otherwise While the world might whisper sweet nothings in our ear, however, remember that godly love —pure, divine love—is not of this world.

And so the world does not recognize it. Therefore, if you are speaking the truth in love , then you may find that you are pegged as hateful or judgmental in a world that is hostile to Christ—sometimes even by other Christians. While this is unfortunate, it should not be surprising, however. As Jesus said, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. The doubled-edged sword of God's Word will separate bone and marrow and cut to the heart.

What Does Faith Actually Do?

And so, God's truth may hurt at times. It can be tough to hear, just as it can be tough to profess. But in the end, it's all about pleasing God, not people. The truth is, people-pleasing is motivated by pride. It's fueled by a desire to feel needed, to be liked, to be popular, to gain worldly significance , or to advance a personal agenda. In essence, it's an insidious form of idolatry, which places the love of oneself before God. As a recovering people-pleaser, then, I constantly need to check my motives Am I speaking, writing, working, serving, etc.

Or is it all about me? Here's what I find I need to keep reminding myself: God is love, just as He is truth. He cannot be divided. It is selfless love, then, that urges us to speak truth—with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3: For, you can't claim to love and follow Jesus, while rejecting or distorting His Word. In light of this, here are twelve suggestions for recovering people-pleasers, like me, who endeavor to speak truth in love: If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will pray first , and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in discerning when we should speak and when we should remain silent.

Sometimes, I have found that holding my tongue with regards to a friend's sinful pattern of behavior and praying for him has born more fruit than if I had confronted him right then and there. And we should certainly err on the side of showing grace to someone who is suffering from clinical depression or mental illness.

Prayer, support, and healing should come before truth in these cases. We will have compassion Col 3: If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will be humble and patient. It's easy to tip the balance from speaking the truth in love to nagging people or chastising them. I know how it feels to be the recipient of a judgmental attack instead of gentle admonishment out of love. In my life, I have needed to be nudged in the direction of righteousness, but when this was done gently, I did not feel under attack.

If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we should also live by example. If we are truly humble, we will have a teachable heart ourselves and allow others the same freedom to speak truth to us when needed. Speaking the truth should go both ways! We have to be willing not only to give it but to receive it as well! If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will be sure to check our motive: Is speaking the truth in this situation necessary to guard against false teaching?

Are we holding a friend accountable, with gentleness and humility, for their own good or is it more about venting our personal grievances? If it is for their good, or the good of the Kingdom, then we must speak up. And if there is no repentance, 1 Corinthians 5 provides a biblical model for how to confront immorality in the church. If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will treat the sin of unbelievers differently from the sin of Christians 1 Cor 5: Unbelievers are not held to the same standards as those who are born again, because they are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit and have not yet been made new in Christ.

We cannot hold unbelievers to biblical standards that they don't yet believe in or are not yet aware of. We should love them, pray for them, and witness to them about the hope that is in Christ—not focus on their sins before they have been given new eyes to see.

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If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will draw a distinction between sin in our culture and the sin of an individual, standing firmly but not always loudly against the former, and showing grace towards the latter —being unwavering in the truth always. We will handle hot-button, controversial issues like homosexuality and transgenderism with humility, dignity, and conviction.

We will speak out against societal and cultural sin, defending the sanctity of marriage—but we will not lambaste the gay community by taking to the streets with signs around our necks or ranting hatefully. That is truth without love. The end goal of speaking the truth in love is not to criticize, condemn, or win an argument. It is to point others to Christ.

You can't berate or picket someone into that. On the flip-side, if selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will not sugar-coat God's Word, dilute it with touchy-feely emotionalism , downplay the seriousness of sin, or turn a blind eye to false teaching. These are forms of people-pleasing. Doing these things may respectively earn you popularity, garner more Facebook likes, create a comfortable atmosphere, or cobble together some semblance of unity.

But what is unity without Christ at its center? What is comfort without hope? And what is popularity in a temporal world? If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will be compelled to contend for the faith. For example, the Apostle Paul, an expert apologist, debated in the synagogues to save souls. Jude urged believers to contend tirelessly for the faith Jude 1: Peter admonished us always to be ready to give an answer as to why our hope is in Christ 1 Peter 3: Paul exhorted us to guard our doctrine closely 1 Timothy 4: Unequivocally, it is our duty to defend and uphold Biblical truth.

And it is our love of God and His Word that will fuel this. John Piper puts it this way, "There are truths about God and Christ and man and the church and the world which are essential to the life of Christianity. If they are lost or distorted, the result will not be merely wrong ideas but misplaced trust. The inner life of faith is not independent from the doctrinal statement of faith.

When doctrine goes bad, so do hearts. There is a body of doctrine which must be preserved. If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will promote unity in Christ. We will uphold biblical truth to strengthen the Church as Ephesians 4: While we will defend the doctrine of salvation, however, we will also remember that Satan wants to cause unnecessary division among believers.

Some Christians get all wrapped around the axle about peripheral matters like whether or not to have a Christmas tree due to its "pagan origins" or whether or not to let our kids believe in Santa, and then lambaste other Christians who don't have the same perspective. But these minor issues distract us from what really matters. We can also be over-critical of our fellow believers, obsessing over each other's differences and flaws, which can lead to pride, hatred, and division. If we are selfless, we may not win the peripheral argument, but we will glorify God. If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will speak up when it comes to matters of salvation.

Jesus did not beat around the bush when it came to this. He mentioned hell 23 times as is recorded in the Gospels. When Jesus went to dinner at a Pharisee's home, for example, He told the Pharisees, "Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering. Not exactly cordial dinner conversation! Jesus was far more concerned with speaking the truth to them than sparing their feelings and sticking to safe topics of discussion. The disciples came to Jesus and told Him the Pharisees were offended by what He had been saying Matt If selfless love is our motive for speaking the truth, we will be truthful even when interacting with the rich and powerful.

The man went away sadly because he had great wealth Mark It was because Jesus loved the man so much that He spoke the truth to him. By speaking the truth to Him, Jesus did not try to win him over right then and there. He didn't tell him what he wanted to hear in order to gain a new follower, even an influential, wealthy one.

Likewise, if we really love someone selflessly, we too will be truthful with them—even if they run away because of it. If selfless love is our motive for speaking truth, we will fearlessly defend the weak and the oppressed. By faith we are called to be administrators of justice Heb We will advocate for the widow and the fatherless. We will pray for, and raise awareness about, the persecuted Church. We will speak up on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves—including the unborn.

Ultimately, people-pleasing isn't loving or serving others. It's temporary convenience without conviction. It's temporary happiness without hope. It's temporary popularity without promise.

What Does Faith Actually Do? - Colin Smith, Blogs

It's temporary status without soul. When Paul rebuked people-pleasing in his first letter to the Thessalonians, he was evidently aware that it perpetuates the human desire to be cozy in the world, gives rise to false teaching, enables sin, and usurps the authority of God.

What is Faith actually?

As a recovering people-pleaser, who still backslides from time-to-time , I know that writing on matters of discernment which the Bible itself emphasizes! Despite this, however, I would rather seek to please God who tests my heart, not people! I would rather cling to Christ in a world that has rejected Him, whether it's offensive to others or not. Thursday, June 2, Spiritual Spin-Mastery: The problem is, however, the Jesus of Islam is an entirely different person from the biblical Jesus and when you extract Him from Christianity there's no longer clear doctrine to define in absolute terms who He is and what He has done for us on the Cross.

It all becomes culturally relative. These contextualization strategies go way too far in spinning the truth. And this results in false converts. It is important to remember that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to convict hearts, not ours to finesse and spin the Word of God to make it more culturally appealing. We are to proclaim the gospel message, and let the gospel stand for itself. Or as Paul puts it: For seeking to ingratiate ourselves with a world that has rejected Christ is like trying to mix God's light with darkness.

This dangerous form of spiritual spin will undoubtedly result in 50 shades of grey. We need to be aware of them, and identify them, in order to guard ourselves and others. Satan masquerades as an angel of light 2 Cor Evidently, just because someone quotes Scripture, doesn't mean they speak God's Word! Are we just nit-picking by trying to identify the spin-masters in our midst? Why be so negative? If people get something positive out of a Christian book even if it's not in line with Scripture, why make a fuss about it?

There's a short answer to this: Jesus' description of false teachers is sobering: The Epistles and Proverbs contain many of the same warnings. As a result, people who claim to have information from God should be tested carefully 1 John 4: In fact, every teaching should be tested 1 Thess 5: Take for example the vastly popular "prosperity" teaching of the Word of Faith mega-pastors. While they call themselves "Christian," and have mass-appeal among many professing Christians, these preachers are in fact promoting a false gospel and a false Jesus.

They preach the Convenient Christ —a lovable, Santa-esque figure who wants to make us happy and bless us abundantly. Their Jesus wants us to be comfortable in the world and for the world to comfortable with him. He always refrains from saying things that might offend people conveniently skipping over the polarizing, convicting things that Jesus actually said. Their Jesus wants us to be successful, wealthy, and healthy above all else! Beware of preachers who stick to positive, crowd-pleasing topics, dodging Bible verses that could ruffle feathers—like, for example, when Jesus said: For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or when He said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. Instead it's all about Your Best Life Now! And then there's the enormously popular book dare I even say it , Jesus Calling , in which the author, Sarah Young, writes in the inspired first-person voice of Jesus. Firstly, the method of receiving inspiration that she describes is akin to the occultic practice of "automatic writing," and has absolutely no biblical basis.

Secondly, the words she received, while alluding to certain Bible verses, do not reflect the same themes of Scripture as those Jesus actually preached during His earthly ministry. Her consistent emphasis is on how much God delights in us as His children, which is certainly true, but Scripture consistently points us to Christ, and not back to ourselves like Young's book unfortunately does. In essence, her words do not echo the tenor of God's Word.

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Jesus' teaching certainly didn't take the form of a crooning love song. It was a soul-piercing, hard-hitting, life-and-death message of repentance, hope, and salvation. There is almost nothing of the gospel in her book. But why would the tenor of Jesus' teaching change now in the 21st century? Remember that God never changes Num We can trust, therefore, that His voice is consistent and unchanging also. In truth, the author's voice in Jesus Calling sounds suspiciously more like a middle-aged woman in living in post-modern suburbia than it does the voice of the living God.

For we've been forewarned that "the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As James Montgomery Boice, late pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church, so rightly pointed out, the great issue of our day would not be the authority of the Bible, but its sufficiency. The temptation for Christians today is to turn to other revelation and experiences of God, instead of relying on Scripture.

In actuality, it's a form of spiritual greed. Jesus Calling represents just that trend.

As Kathy Keller puts it in her emphatic warning against the best-seller, "Young had the Bible, but found it insufficient. He might redeem the use of that resource in your life by His grace, but this doesn't mean He has ordained it Why bother with books like these that have received so much criticism from credible sources? Why tolerate preaching in our churches that doesn't point to Christ?

Why bother dabbling in Eastern philosophies? Why bother taking cues from secular self-helpism or New Age spiritualism? And God promises that the work He has begun in you, He will bring to completion Phil 1: Do not add to His words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. And this sobering warning is echoed at the end of the book of Revelation: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll.

And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

Be on guard against extra-biblical writing that claims to contain new messages from God. Avoid books like these and stick to Scripture as the sole source of God's truth. Don't overlook a little Scriptural twist here and a little Scriptural tweak there, because if you start inching off in the wrong direction, in time, you will find yourself way off course.

If we keep spinning Scripture, in the end, we'll spin out of control. But if we know the Word of God well, we will not be led astray when Scripture is twisted or misapplied! If we abide in God's Word, we can rest assured that He will abide in us and His Word will be a lamp to our feet. Posted by Maeve McDonald at 3: He loved it when those placed their full trust in Him.

Jesus in fact said that just a little amount can move mountains. In other words just a little faith can do amazing things in your life and in the lives of those around you. Jesus said our faith could be compared to a mustard seed. But it also is a seed. A seed is worth more when it continues to grow. You water and feed the seed of your faith by giving it nourishment. We get nourishment by reading Gods Word; worshipping; praying. All those things feed the seed of faith in your life. Saying you believe is one thing.. If the Bible says our faith comes from God; what does that say about us when we place faith in other things?

Since faith is a gift; just like all the other gifts - that means you cannot earn it. Do you still continue to go forward or do you start to question God? However if you want to see God move in the lives of the people around you; taking risks is a part of stepping out. Having a strong faith in what Christ has done for you should be enough to compel you to share God with others. Think about the things you talk about.

You usually talk about things that are most important to you. Who a person is eventually makes its way out of their mouth. You talk about what you truly believe in. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena --who at best, knows in the end the triumph of great achievements, and who at the worst, if he fails at least while daring greatly. His place will never be with those cold, timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Learn more at CBN. What was your experience like?