Pleasing God sounds like a great idea, unfortunately, it isn’t. It puts us into a mindset of doing the “right thing”. It says we need to put our best foot forward. It is living into what we assume to be the expectation of how we are to live. It is fractionated. Living life in an effort to be pleasing God has us living in fear of retribution if we do the wrong thing. It is wearing the pretentious mask of “everything is FINE.” FINE equals, “Fouled up, Insecure, Neurotic, Emotional.” It is the appearance being more important than the actuality. The problem of this is when push comes to shove and Friday arrives, you are unprepared and unrested.
Pleasing God is that assumption that we have a special knowledge of God’s desire for us. We forget that God really just wants us to love Him and want to love Him. We struggle to perform in an effort to impress and win favor of God.
When I was 7 or 8, my Dad was really into the red pistacios. All five of us kids would circle around his chair and hold our hands out for a handful of artificially colored nuts. We mimicked his actions. He would sit in the brown recliner chair. He would methodically suck the salt off the pistacio, then crack open the shell, removing the nut. I would end up with red dye on my fingers, lips, tongue, and ears (I cant explain the ears). Dad never seemed stained. He would pile the rejects on the tray table. There were two waste piles on the table. The first were the empty shells. The second were the shells that were not open and sealed shut, unwilling to let go of the meaty inside.
Pleasing God is like being one of the unopened pistacios. God tries to open us to use our talents and gifts. He lets us see the glory of the saltiness and spice we have to offer. He tries to enjoy who we are and let us enjoy who we are. We fake it. We have artificial coloring and hold on to our talents and gifts, afraid that we will use them up and have nothing. God tries. Sometimes he exerts some pressure trying to get us to crack. He sets us aside, unable to use us, but always in arms length.
Pleasing God is a lie. IT is assuming the red dye and the safe shell will protect us. Unfortunately, after time it rots inside. Being open to God allows us to be honest with ourselves. We get to tell the truth to the world, to ourselves, and to God. That truth allows us to reflect on the world, we leave a stain of joy on the face of eager children. They see and taste and hear the Truth in us.