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Friday, March 15, 2013

Even Job Succumbed to People Pleasing

And the winner of the copy of Engaging Today's Prodigal: Clear Thinking, New Approaches, and Reasons for Hope by Carol Barnier is: DRUM ROLL: Barbara! Congratulations, Barbara. I know you'll appreciate this book as much as I did. (See my review of it in my last post. If you'd like to purchase a copy of this book, go to CBD).

I'm not sure if I'd ever thought of it this way before: Job succumbed to People Pleasing and Peer Pressure. Remember Job? He started out with great faith: the "Yet-God-Slay-Me" Kind of Faith. But after being hounded by his "sorry comforters," Job began defending himself. Yet, his friends weren't buying it. They continued to try to accuse Job. 

Finally, Job couldn't handle it anymore. He changed from "Yet-God-Slay-Me" to "I-Must-Have-An-Answer." We know this because of Job 40:6-8:

 Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm and said,
“Now gird up your loins like a man;
I will ask you, and you instruct Me. “Will you really annul My judgment?
Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?

Job wanted to be "justified" before his friends. I hadn't thought of this angle before. I just thought he wanted to know the reasons for his troubles. But R.C. Sproul gives us this insight:

There is no doubt that Job longed to be justified. He was sick of the accusations of his friends. He did not understand why he was so miserable. He prayed for vindication. But his desire had gone out of control. He was on the verge of trading God's justification with his own...God asked him straight out, "Do you want to condemn me so that you can be exonerated?" (The Holiness of God)

Oh no. Can that be one possible end result of People Pleasing and Peer Pressure? We might not have considered PP and PP that serious! What a warning.

Thankfully, for our encouragement, Job responded in a godly manner. He repents in dust and ashes (Job 42). R. C. Sproul writes, 

Job was satisfied. Even though God gave no answers, Job's questions were put to rest. He received a higher answer than any direct reply could have provided. God answered Job's questions not with words but with Himself. As soon as Job saw who God is, Job was satisfied...He was able to leave the details in God's hands. (The Holiness of God)

It didn't matter what his peers thought. He wasn't going to put demands on God because he wanted other people to think the truth about him. Having a sense of God's holiness was enough for him.

Maybe you're facing rejection or misunderstanding today. Maybe People Pleasing and Peer Pressure are prompting you to question God. To even demand that God come through for you in a way that would satisfy you--and make you look good to others.

Can God be enough for you? Can God's holiness be enough? Can God's opinion of you be enough? I know I need this reminder. I hope it ministers to you too!  

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