“Am I now currying favor with human beings or God?
Or am I seeking to please people?
If I were still trying to please people,
I would not be a slave of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
This verse from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians stopped me in my tracks as I went through the readings for today. I wish I could say I only ever seek affirmation from God, but it’s a point of struggle for me. I am a people-pleaser, and sometimes I fall into the temptation to worry too much about what other people think of me. Thoughts of inadequacy, comparison, and isolation can plague us. How many of us wonder, “Am I good enough?”, “Do I have what it takes?”, “Can I do this?”, “What’s wrong with me?” Or we jump straight to the self-hatred: “I can’t do this,” “I’m not capable,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’m a burden,” “He/She is so much better than I am,” “I’m a mess.”
It is tempting to measure our worth by “standards” of appearance, friend circles, vocational status, career advancements, having that perfect Catholic Instagram photo with a Bible and coffee, feedback from a boss, or the people that seem to have it all together (they don’t). This will only make our aching hearts sick, and the whispered lies about our identity from the evil one will become the deafening norm. It all ultimately boils down to pride and not trusting in God enough—not trusting fully in how much He loves us.
The more we know our belovedness as God’s sons and daughters, the easier it is to let go and live totally for Him. When we dive into God’s heart, we find love and mercy itself. We find that He is always working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). We find that He has never abandoned us and never will (Matthew 28:20). We find solace, protection, safety, and peace (Psalm 91, John 14:27). We find the One who calls us His (John 10:14). We find forgiveness (1 John 1:9). We find the One who gives us everything just because we belong to Him (2 Peter 1:3). Faced with this reality, it can become easier and easier to totally trust our Lord. Like St. Paul said, “On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know Him in whom I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12). God is trustworthy. Even with our darkest sins and secret shame, He is trustworthy; especially in that, He is trustworthy.
What things are holding you back from relying fully on God? Maybe it’s fear, suffering, shame, or lies on your heart about your identity. Maybe it’s a sin you keep falling into. Maybe it’s an addiction. Maybe it’s someone who hurt you deeply that you’re struggling to forgive. We all have stuff. Whatever it is, let’s start entrusting these things to the Sacred Heart of Jesus today. You are not alone.
A few years ago, I was a counselor for a Catholic camp for teens called Camp Veritas. One thing that is often heard yelled back and forth as the anthem of the camp is:
“What’s the objective of your life?”
“And if it’s not?”
“We’re wasting our time!”
Amen, amen. Let’s live this way—really live this way, seeking after Heaven rather than the approval of others.
Our worth lies in God alone. His opinion of you is all that matters. And He’s crazy about you. He will never forsake you.