Just Who Am I Trying to Please? - Episode 19

Just Who Am I Trying to Please? - Episode 19
Season 2 Sweet Selah Moments Podcas...

 
 
00:00 / 00:32:04
 
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Sometimes we work awfully hard to please the wrong people. Oy. Nicole and Sharon talk about that "people pleaser" thing that can make us do more than we should more often than we ought for all the wrong reasons. Join us today as we encourage each other and you as well to please the One who matters most. We'd love to hear from you so do comment below. When is it especially hard for you to walk away from a people pleasing situation? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for watching.

Read transcript for Just Who Am I Trying to Please?

Speaker 1 (00:03):

Welcome friend. It’s time to hit pause on your busy day and enjoy the Sweet Selah Moments podcast. Let’s ponder God’s Word together and find the encouragement we need to work well and rest well. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:31):

Welcome to episode 19 of the Sweet Selah moments podcast. Today’s episode is called Just Who Am I Trying to Please? It’s an intriguing title and it makes us all wince a little Sharon. So I’ll start us out and I’ll tell you a story of when I was a people pleaser. So about nine years ago, when Pinterest came out just about the same time as my firstborn arrived, I got it in my head that I had to make these birthday parties a big to do.

Sharon (00:59):

Oh boy.

Nicole (00:59):

Yes. So weeks of prep and searching for all these party theme things, her first birthday party was Safari theme, and I spent, Oh yes, a week, a solid week, just on the party favors making these layered colored chocolate pops on a stick. I mean, ridiculous. I invited 50 people to her first birthday party, all of our family and friends and neighbors. She doesn’t remember a thing. Absolutely nothing. And I was exhausted. It wasn’t something that I was enjoying. I felt like I had to do it. So I was definitely trying to please the parents, I believe or impress them because kids don’t care. They want cake and they want to play.

Sharon (01:41):

And usually with the packages, the wrapping, the box more than the presents.

Nicole (01:46):

Right. So now I keep it a lot more simple. We do cupcakes. I make these fun themed cupcakes for them, which I actually enjoy.

Sharon (01:53):

Oh nice!

Nicole (01:53):

And they do it with me and then we just play outside and then family and they love it.

Sharon (01:57):

And it’s all happy.

Nicole (01:58):

It’s wonderful. I don’t stress. I don’t stay up all night. Yes. Pinterest, Oh Pinterest.

Sharon (02:04):

That is so funny. Oh my goodness. Well, you can at least show your daughter the pictures and say, this is what your crazy mother did for you.

Nicole (02:10):

Right.

Sharon (02:11):

I don’t recommend it.

Nicole (02:12):

Don’t do this: cupcakes!

Sharon (02:13):

Oh my goodness!

Nicole (02:16):

Okay Sharon. How are you at people pleasing? Is this a hard area for you?

Sharon (02:19):

It surely is. I wonder if it’s firstborn-ness? We’re both firstborns.

Nicole (02:22):

I think it might be.

Sharon (02:22):

But whatever. I always want to get the A with everybody.

Nicole (02:27):

Yeah.

Sharon (02:27):

I really do. And I can remember in the early years of our marriage, I was a full time Christian school teacher, which is busy. And I had seven lesson preps, which is insane. Ray keeps saying to me, cause he teaches Christian school. How did you do seven lesson preps? I’m like, I don’t know. I just had to do it, do it.

Nicole (02:46):

Do it, yeah.

Sharon (02:46):

But then of course, if somebody at church was sick, I wanted to bring the casserole. And then Ray was in the military. So there were officer’s wives functions that I felt like I should go to. And I was stressed, you know, just about constantly. So Ray sat me down one day and gave me the five pound bag lecture.

Nicole (03:04):

Oh.

Sharon (03:04):

I know… who knew? This is a Ray (I don’t know if it was originally with Ray) I always associate with him, perhaps he learned it from someone else. But anyways, he said, Sharon, you have so many hours in your day. Consider it a five pound bag. That’s what you’ve got to expend. He said, you really should only fill that bag to three and a half to four pounds because unexpected things happen. Somebody gets sick and you need to watch their child. Or ladada. He said, you are cramming seven pounds into your five pound bag. And then you look at me and say, why is life so hard? He said, it’s your bag, Sharon, it’s your bag? So.

Nicole (03:44):

He’s a wise man.

Sharon (03:45):

He’s a wise man. So he’ll still say that once in a while. He’ll say, I’m not telling you what to take out of that bag, but…

Nicole (03:52):

Check your bags.

Sharon (03:52):

It’s kind of too full, honey.

Nicole (03:54):

Oh, that’s good.

Sharon (03:56):

Isn’t it? It’s such a nice visual. And I do that. I’m like, okay, the bag’s full, well let’s squish it down and put some more in. And what happens then is the emergencies. We don’t allow for the emergencies. We have no margin. So I’m very, very thankful for my wise husband there. So. Well today our passage of scripture, our beautiful, Sweet Selah moment when our listeners get to hear real truth, which is God’s word. Not just Nicole’s and Sharon’s trying to define that truth as we understand it. This deals with this very topic. So we’re going to take a Sweet Selah pause and meditate on these words that Jesus chose to share with that crowd on the mountain, that day of the Sermon on the Mount. Nicole, why don’t you read Matthew six one through six and then let’s skip the next section, which is the Lord’s Prayer because next week we’re going to devote to that amazing prayer. And then I will read Matthew six, 16 to 18, that kind of relates.

Nicole (04:51):

Yes, sure.

Sharon (04:51):

Go for it.

Nicole (04:52):

All right. Matthew chapter six verses one through six, ‘Watch out. Don’t do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others for you will lose the reward from your father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do, as the hypocrites do blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity. I tell you the truth. They have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private and your Father who sees everything will reward you. When you pray. Don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth. That is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father who sees everything will reward you.’

Sharon (05:44):

And then skipping to Matthew six, 16 through 18. ‘And when you fast, don’t make it obvious as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth. That is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast comb your hair, wash your face, then no one will notice that you are fasting except your Father who knows what you do in private and your Father who sees everything will reward you.’ Oh, I’m trying to imagine them walking around, disheveled and haggard. I’m starving. I’m fasting you know, so we don’t do that so much today, but we have other issues.

Nicole (06:30):

Yes, for sure.

Sharon (06:31):

So, okay. You and I Nicole at the beginning talked mostly about how we want to make people happy with us. But it’s pretty apparent from these passages that God is really clear that there is one person we should be interested in making happy. And that is him. But this part of Jesus’ sermon is all about doing things in such a sweet and hidden way that only God sees. Wow. Only God sees. So let’s look at them one at a time. We are to be careful how we give, how we pray and how we fast. Nicole, why do you think Jesus is so concerned about these three areas?

Nicole (07:10):

These three all deal with things that come out of our life when we’re believers. Do you know what I mean? We don’t really do these things before Christ, but these are the things that we do to live outwardly that make us look different because of our changed hearts. So I think he warns about those because they can be so easily abused and used to puff ourselves up to look like a better Christian by our actions.

Sharon (07:32):

Yes. Yeah. I think you’re exactly right. Giving is wonderful. If we’re giving, so people go, whoa, she’s generous. Not so much. Exactly. Exactly. And those three areas. You’re right. They’re Christian areas, giving, praying, fasting. Not that non-Christians can’t do all three actually, but it’s something that we’re known for.

Nicole (07:53):

Right.

Sharon (07:53):

So we do have to be very, very careful. Well, let me reread the commands from Jesus on giving. And let’s dive into that one. He says this, ‘Watch out, don’t do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.’ Let’s just stop there. There’s going to be some reward. It’s kind of fascinating. Isn’t it?

Nicole (08:13):

It is.

Sharon (08:14):

Well, I’m just pondering that, but I will look back to the lesson, but you will lose the reward. ‘When you give to someone in need don’t do it as the hypocrites do, blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity.’ Oh my goodness. ‘I tell you the truth. They have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private and your Father who sees everything will reward you.’ Well, there are two primary ways that a Christian can look good in the giving arena. The first is the good deed way. Hmm. What are some good deeds people do today? We go on mission trips, kind of hard to hide that one though. But we do.

Nicole (09:03):

I know… sneak away.

Sharon (09:04):

We donate food for the hungry, volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center. We do Christian podcasts. Also hard to be silent about. What else? What else?

Nicole (09:15):

Oh, let’s see. We can sponsor children and little orphans and we can support missionaries. We can give a tithe to our church.

Sharon (09:24):

True. Yeah. So how in the world do we keep that kind of giving quiet? What does Jesus mean? If we’re giving out food for the hungry, for example, at our church’s House for Hope, then everyone that works there kind of knows we’re there, right? Although I suppose it would be really bad if we blew trumpets in the street before we gave. That clearly is wrong.

Nicole (09:46):

I have arrived to help!

Sharon (09:49):

Yes. How can we honor God in that kind of giving? What do you think?

Nicole (09:53):

Oh, I think it all comes back to our heart attitudes again. If we’re truly giving out of a heart for helping others, then we won’t be as concerned with who sees or doesn’t see.

Sharon (10:03):

Yes.

Nicole (10:03):

I know that there’ve been times that I have served selfishly and I’ve been disappointed that a certain person didn’t see or whatever, or if they did, I felt good about it, but that was kind of it. You know, that was all I got out of it. But those times of serving, when I’ve had a more pure heart, I’ve received far more than I gave. And I almost felt selfish for coming away, feeling so completely blessed by going to serve others. It’s crazy how that works.

Sharon (10:30):

Isn’t it? Isn’t it, there’s a proverb that says he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Nicole (10:36):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (10:38):

I love that. And it’s true. You know, you go to talk to an elderly person and you think you might be a little bored listening to their life story and you end up enthralled.

Nicole (10:47):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (10:47):

And you come away thinking, I just got some wisdom there. I am the one that should be thanking them.

Nicole (10:54):

Right.

Sharon (10:54):

That kind of thing. So maybe that’s part of the reward.

Nicole (10:57):

Ah, that’s true.

Sharon (10:57):

When our focus is on that and not on, you know, telling people that we went and were nice to an old person.

Nicole (11:03):

The elderly, yes.

Sharon (11:06):

So I think it also feels more kind of true and pure if it’s untainted by spectators going, Oh, look at them doing that good thing, you know?

Nicole (11:15):

Right.

Sharon (11:15):

But just doing it, but just doing it. So I think the second way of giving is easier to be quiet about: monetary giving. Most of us don’t go around telling people how much we give to a certain charity or our church annually. And that’s a good thing.

Nicole (11:30):

Yes.

Sharon (11:30):

I don’t recommend it, but we could still be tempted to mention that we gave money to help someone pay their rent. You know, something like that. Well, we don’t need to.

Nicole (11:40):

Right.

Sharon (11:40):

We’re looking up and saying, God did that please you?

Nicole (11:44):

Right.

Sharon (11:44):

It did. Thank you, Father should be enough. You know, it should. So the beauty of giving a gift no one sees but God is that it’s pure. Our motives are so often mixed. We really want to give and help, but we also kind of want the credit for it. So people see how we’re trying to be good. When no one sees, but God then it really is for him because no one else has seen it. I remember reading a book that had this beautiful thought in it. She talked about her life being a stage, which many people have talked about, including I believe Shakespeare. But, she talked first about how, you know, on the stage, God is my director and I’m like, yes, yes, I should do what he says. I should follow his commands. So he’s directing me as I’m performing on the stage. And then she said, and God is our audience. And I went, Oh, yeah.

Nicole (12:32):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (12:35):

So not only am I being directed by him, his is the applause I want to hear. The well done good and faithful servant is what I want to hear. And it just really changed things for me, thinking God is my audience.

Nicole (12:50):

Yeah.

Sharon (12:50):

And I can remember a couple of times in my life where I have tried to please someone and utterly failed. In fact, they’d been angry with me. Sadness, but the truth. And it could really get to me if I was a people pleaser, which I am. So it did, but what turns it around for me when that happens? And I know my heart, I mean, sometimes my heart’s a mess, but I know that I really meant good by this, that they took it the wrong way. I look to heaven literally. And I say, but God did I please, you. And I usually get this warm, fuzziness. And God says, you did, honey, you pleased me. And then I can relax and think, no matter how someone interpreted what I did, my God saw me. He’s my audience. And that’s what matters. Bam.

Nicole (13:40):

Oh, I love that. That’s so important for us. I think as people pleasers, like that’s such a freedom for as firstborns or whatever our personality is that we just feel the need to just make everyone happy, make everything good. Like I have that same feeling. So it’s such a relief and a burden off of me, not to feel like I have to do it publicly, that I should be doing it quietly. Then it takes away that need to please anyone but God, and he’s much easier to please then people.

Sharon (14:09):

He is, he knows all of us. So he knows we only had time to make the banana bread because we listened to our child cry for an hour and God’s like, I understand and good for you. You made the banana bread.

Nicole (14:22):

Exactly! Instead of like ‘where’s my meal just got bread’.

Sharon (14:24):

I mean, little things like that.

Nicole (14:26):

I love that.

Sharon (14:26):

So, so sweet. Well, our next area in which to be quiet about what we’re doing is prayer. So Nicole, could you reread that section and then let’s unpack it.

Nicole (14:38):

Sure. ‘When you pray don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth. That is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father who sees everything will reward you. So just to get this straight, this does not outlaw prayer meetings. There were tons of them in the early church. And it’s not that we always have to pray secretly. I think this again makes us stop to check our hearts. And is my focus more on how fancy my words are, how good I sound? Am I using all the right Christiany phrases or words? Or am I just so honored to be able to speak to my Lord directly and share my heart with him? Um, as for public praying, I think thanking God for a meal or quiet prayer in the park with a friend who is hurting, those are not the prayers of a hypocrite. I don’t think that’s what God was saying in those verses. God wants us to stand out in the world because of our hope. And that’s a great way to show that. But he doesn’t want us to use prayer as a means to glorify ourselves.

Sharon (15:45):

Bingo. I think that’s it. Not to glorify ourselves through it. It’s to glorify him. And he needs to be the focus. I used to … when I taught women to pray for Moms in Prayer mothers that never had prayed out loud in their lives before and were really nervous that they wouldn’t sound Christiany enough … I used to remind them of how cute it is when a child first starts to talk. Oh, I so love it when one of my grandchildren, you know, Nina, Nina, I “lah” you.

Nicole (16:16):

Oh, I know.

Sharon (16:17):

And I’m not sitting there going, ‘that’s a really immature way to say that, you need to step it up before I pay attention to you’.

Nicole (16:24):

Right.

Sharon (16:25):

They said, I love you. You know, it’s just so wonderful. And when we first start praying, we’re God’s kids, he’s not correcting our grammar. He is a parent thrilled that a child has stumbled and bumbled her way into his presence. And it doesn’t matter how awkward our words are. If we, you know, crash all over ourselves. He sees our hearts anyways. And the fact that we are trying to get words out for him, that’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. So stumbling is actually good when we’re praying out loud because it makes other people realize that it’s not a performance.

Nicole (17:04):

Yeah.

Sharon (17:04):

It is not a performance. It’s just us, little us, talking to the great big God who loves us no matter how we fumble our words.

Nicole (17:12):

Thank goodness.

Sharon (17:12):

So there’s a couple of examples of prayer meetings I’ve always loved in Acts. Speaking of prayer meetings, not being outlawed by this command. When Paul was being close to being sent to Rome and people were starting to realize that he was going to be arrested in the near future and eventually killed for his faith. He meets a lot of people on his journey that he’s kind of saying goodbye to.

Nicole (17:35):

Yeah.

Sharon (17:36):

Acts 20, thirty-six. He’s on shore. He’s gotten off his boat for, I don’t know what reason I can’t remember, but he’s off the boat and he’s meeting with people. And it says when he had finished speaking, he knelt and prayed with them. And then a little further on, he’s gone ashore again in Acts 21, four through six: “We went ashore, found the local believers and stayed with them a week. These believers prophesied through the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go on to Jerusalem. When we returned to the ship at the end of the week, the entire congregation, including women and children left the city and came down to the shore with us. There, we knelt prayed and said our farewells. Then we went aboard and they returned home.” This kneeling position thing, Nicole, I love noticing prayer positions. You see people sitting and praying in scripture, you see them with their hands raised. You see them flat on their face before God. I’ve done that a few times when I have just been so broken, I wanted to get as low as I could go on my face. But I don’t kneel enough I don’t think. I really don’t.

Nicole (18:44):

I don’t either.

Sharon (18:44):

You know, and that could be in my private closet prayer, going back to where nobody sees, except God. I feel like, not all the time, but I feel like I should kneel more often. My mom did every day. So when we kids would run into her bedroom, often my poor mother got interrupted in her prayers daily. There she’d be on her knees and it was a symbol to us. Oh, she has humbled herself. It’s a humble position. And she is talking to God and we need to tiptoe away and come back because what she’s doing is really, really important. I think it keeps you focused on praying too, and I can get real comfy in my brown chair.

Nicole (19:20):

Oh yeah.

Sharon (19:21):

So, I feel like there’s times I should be kneeling. What about you? What do you think?

Nicole (19:25):

Yeah, I agree. It’s funny, Josh and I have been reading a book about developing spiritual habits in your life. And it talks about kneeling three times a day to prayer. And in the morning you kneel before your bed. It kind of gets you awake and you give your day to God and say, God, you know, let me do your work today. And then you’re supposed to kneel if you’re at work, like shut your office door, get on your knees and say, okay, God, I got off track today. Get me back with my heart focused on you. And then at nighttime you’d kneel before bed and say, God, thank you for working in my heart today. And thank you for being with me today. And we loved that. We’ve only managed to start doing the morning one so far. It’s hard to work it in, but I love that. Like you said, that that posture of kneeling is humbling.

Sharon (20:05):

It is. Yes.

Nicole (20:06):

And it just kind of like gets you like, okay, the day is yours, God. So it’s definitely good. We’re trying to incorporate that.

Sharon (20:12):

I like that a lot. I think pendulums swing in Christian behavior. And we came out when I was a child of a very legalistic behavior where, you know, kneeling was sort of forced and being quiet on Sundays and doing nothing but memorize scripture was the deal, you know, that kind of thing. But I almost felt like we’ve pendulum swung so much that we treat God as pal.

Nicole (20:39):

We’ve lost some reverence for him I think.

Sharon (20:41):

We’ve lost some reverence and he is Friend. But that’s an honor. That’s not something we should be like, yeah, we’re friends. It’s like WHAT?

Nicole (20:48):

Yeah.

Sharon (20:49):

What?

Nicole (20:49):

It should take us aback every time.

Sharon (20:51):

Yes, it should take us aback, absolutely. And so I think I need to incorporate some kneeling just studying this today. Some quiet, by myself, nobody’s noticing me kneel, kneeling. Because the whole theme song here is I’m not doing it for other people. I’m doing it for him, but I feel like that posture will help me remember how big the God is to whom I speak and how grateful I ought to be that he stoops to listen to me.

Nicole (21:22):

I know, beautiful.

Sharon (21:22):

So really, really fascinating. So cool. That was really fun to hear about. It really was so, alright. Well the last one is on fasting. Let me read it one more time. And then let’s ponder with the words fresh in our minds.

Sharon (21:37):

‘And when you fast, don’t make it obvious as the hypocrites do for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth that’s the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast comb your hair and wash your face, then no one will notice that you are fasting except your Father who knows what you do in private and your Father who sees everything will reward you’. It’s the secret thing between you and God. And I’m kind of laughing a bit here because if either of us shares about fasting experiences, it means we’re sharing about the fasting that we’re not supposed to talk about that much, but we’ll talk a little bit about it for the purposes of the podcast, right? Start with the definition, how would you define fasting?

Nicole (22:19):

I would define fasting as anything we abstain from, something that we enjoy or that we need for a time. And instead in that void, we lean into God for strength during that lack, whatever we’re fasting from.

Sharon (22:34):

Yes, it’s typically food, but some people with food allergies can’t fast. And I have a friend who is in that boat. And so she fasts sleep during a fast.

Nicole (22:45):

Really? That’s really interesting.

Sharon (22:46):

Because just like you need food, that’s a good point, you have something you need you’re temporarily letting go of and having to rely on God’s strength. She will fast sleep because it had to hurt, you know? Sometimes I’m like, so you fasted diet Coke. Really? Yeah. You know, I mean, it’s supposed to be a sacrifice.

Nicole (23:05):

You’re supposed to notice. That’s what it should be, it’s supposed to bring you to God during that.

Sharon (23:10):

Right. Exactly. Yeah, and when your tummy rumbles, or when you’re very sleepy or whatever it is, that’s your trigger that I’m fasting for a purpose and it’s to pray about something. There’s different types. It can be liquids only fasting, one meal a day fasting, that sleep fast thing. But it has a purpose. It has health benefits, you know, which is nice.

Nicole (23:32):

Yeah. It’s not just about… Oh I love that because when he talks about the reward, how everything’s a reward from your father, a reward. And fasting, that’s been kind of like a catch phrase right now. There’s all kinds of fasting for dieting and all that. But in researching that it has health benefits. If we abstain from food, our body kind of resets and it’s able to heal itself in a way that we couldn’t, if we were always eating. So God gives back. Even if we feel like, Oh, I have to suffer through and fast and it’s this horrible thing. He still blesses us in it.

Sharon (24:01):

Isn’t it sweet?

Nicole (24:01):

It’s just so fun even, you know, physically we get a little boost from it.

Sharon (24:05):

Yeah, and that’s not the reason we do it.

Nicole (24:07):

Right.

Sharon (24:08):

But how cool is it that the things that God tells us to do are for our good, right? I’m doing I’m doing Noom right now, a diet thing. And they’re all into this quiet meditating thing and how it’s good for your body. So I was supposed to respond. So I responded to my group and I said, I find prayer, first thing in the morning to bless me. But again, studying how the quieting down has physical benefits.

Nicole (24:36):

Yes.

Sharon (24:37):

There it is again, our God has wired us so that when we do what he says, there are health benefits as well.

Nicole (24:45):

It’s just so crazy. I just love that.

Sharon (24:47):

Isn’t it? It’s just so sweet. So, but the reasons we fast are not for those. Those are great side benefits.

Nicole (24:53):

Those are bonuses.

Sharon (24:55):

It’s to go into a more intense kind of prayer sometimes. Sometimes it’s to get guidance for something. It could be to cry out for a dangerous situation. I have one memory of a time that was a very hard, hard situation. It was the easiest fast I’ve ever done. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t eat. I just prayed.

Nicole (25:16):

Yeah.

Sharon (25:16):

So, or it could be a community fast for a specific purpose. When Ray and I were in Germany our international church over there was really struggling because there was a huge draw down of troops. And that was the bulk of the tithe money that went into the church. And we were doing so many good things in the community and our numbers were shrinking and we had to make some decisions. So our pastor called for a church wide week fast.

Nicole (25:42):

Wow.

Sharon (25:43):

Yes. And it was just about a total fast. They had doctors standing by.

Nicole (25:47):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (25:47):

All that stuff. And it was a fascinating time for us united together to be praying and fasting. Every time we would normally eat, we prayed instead and said, Jesus, what should we do? Should we keep the church open? Should we sell it now? You know, how would you have us respond to this? It was very moving. It really was.

Nicole (26:11):

Wow. I think you could do that, and you’re not supposed to broadcast, but I think if you’re doing it in community, all with the same purpose and same heart, I think that’s honoring God’s will you know?

Sharon (26:19):

I think it is. I do. And there are community fasts in the Old Testament. So I definitely think it’s okay. So, the in secret part, you know, do the prayer in secret, do the fasting in secret. And we’ve talked about prayer meetings and community. I think it really comes down to who am I pleasing? Why am I doing it? And if it’s possible for no one to see this, that is best.

Nicole (26:42):

Yes.

Sharon (26:43):

You know, in certain situations. So, I think it’s great advice. And I think Jesus gets to the heart of it. He wants us to do it for God’s glory and for God’s honor and not ours. So we need to work on our sweet and special relationship with God that is just God and me. We really do when no one else is around, we can’t do this stuff just to be the cool kid at church or the best ball player on the team.

Nicole (27:09):

Right.

Sharon (27:09):

And it is our tendency to do it for just those reasons. And Jesus knew that weakness in us. And that’s why he’s like, shhh, go into your closet to do that. Stop. In fact, I believe in this time and age in which we live, we need to establish a walk with God that is so tender and so close that if we are locked in a jail cell for a year or seven, and all we have is ourselves and God, we will know him so well that we just keep on talking and doing life together like we always did. That’s my goal. I mean, it kind of scares me that that’s my goal because wow maybe I will end up in a jail cell. I mean, it’s pretty obvious I’m a Christian. So if there’s ever a persecution, they’ll come for me.

Nicole (27:54):

They’ll come after you.

Sharon (27:54):

But that’s why church as club doesn’t work. We come together as a body to strengthen each other in our individual walk with God so that if we have to walk alone, we can.

Nicole (28:04):

Absolutely.

Sharon (28:05):

So it’s very, very interesting. You know, Nicole, I’ve been thinking about this quiet stuff because I’m a teacher, which is not a quiet thing.

Nicole (28:15):

No.

Sharon (28:15):

We’re podcasting. You can’t really hide a podcast.

Nicole (28:21):

That defeats the purpose. (laughing)

Sharon (28:21):

You could do one just for God. But the purpose is to point people to God and glorify God. So, other jobs at church, you can do more quietly, like you can clean up after communion and nobody ever sees it or you can clean out the bathroom when no one’s looking and things like that. But it’s interesting to me that the more visible the gifts are that God gives us, the greater the responsibility there is to walk humbly with God and not get all puffed up.

Nicole (28:49):

Yes.

Sharon (28:49):

James three is a really wince worthy chapter. It’s all about the tongue and how hard it is to tame. And the first two verses say this, ‘dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed we all make many mistakes for if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way’.

Nicole (29:14):

Oh, wouldn’t that be nice.

Sharon (29:17):

So teachers are held to a stricter standard because there’s more of the temptation to get puffed up.

Nicole (29:24):

Right, because you’re more visible.

Sharon (29:24):

Because it can’t be done quietly. And God holds us to a higher standard, which has always kind of, ‘solemn-ed’ me up. Like, Oh Lord, don’t let me ever walk from underneath your covering. I need it. I need it. I need it. And you and I both do in this podcast too, because our tongues are far from perfect. We need the Holy Spirit to help us in the more public gifts.

Nicole (29:51):

Yeah, Oh that’s really good.

Sharon (29:52):

Any last thoughts, Nicole, any ways you can think of to teach principles to your kids, these quiet principles?

Nicole (29:58):

Oh, I know. I think the best way is to, to live them. I can talk to them all day long and they only hear about a fourth of what I say, but they see me just like you saw your mama kneeling every day. You saw that. She didn’t tell you, this is what I’m doing. You should do this too and make it legalistic. She showed you with her life.

Sharon (30:17):

Exactly.

Nicole (30:17):

And they’re always watching what we do. It’s amazing what our kiddos catch. Like it or not.

Sharon (30:21):

Yes it is. It really is. Amen. And speaking of amen, it’s time to pray. So let’s pray. Heavenly Father, I thank you that you not only direct us, but you are our audience and Lord, we want to please you, all of us. Help us with that please, in Jesus name. Amen.

Nicole (30:43):

Amen. Thanks for joining us today, friends. We love sharing our discussions with you and we truly hope they help you think, and then help you walk with God more closely. Each lesson we walked through Sharon and I learned so much. It’s an honor to share these weekly podcasts with you, our listening friends. We really appreciate reviews, comments, and shares and follows. So if you want to bless us, please review, comment, share, and follow. You can find us at sweet selah.org/podcast. We also appreciate donations. It costs money each month to produce these. And although it is our joy to give these freely, if you feel like a lovely secret donation, based on our lesson today, hop on over to sweet selah.org/donations. We would be so grateful and you will be enabling others to hear this podcast for free. What a gift. In any case have a great week as you walk in quiet, sweet relationship with him. Meet us next Tuesday for episode 20, Pray Like Jesus, The Lord’s Prayer.

Speaker 1 (31:42):

We are so glad you stopped for awhile with us. The Sweet Selah Moments podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be found@sweetselah.org. Thank you for joining us.

You can download and print the transcript here.

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