"Is this pleasing to God?" This is the question I find myself asking myself as I make choices or evaluate what I have done. Being a black and white rule follower, I've asked myself this question my entire life. But recently I've changed my question. In asking the Lord to make his Grace evident in my every day, the Lord showed me that this question puts the focus in the wrong place for me. It leaves me wondering all the time if I'm being pleasing. The focus is on me and my actions. The problem is that when the answer is yes, then I end up feeling good and even (gasp!) prideful. If not, well, then I feel shameful and guilty. Well, neither feeling good about myself nor hanging my head in shame are the Lord's best for me!
As I raise my children and talk regularly with them about their behavior, I don't want to raise them with this habit of self-evaluation in Christ's eyes. I want them to rest in the grace of God. His mercy and His best for us. I don't want the focus to be on us and our performance.
I want the focus to be on Him. He knows my heart, and thankfully loves me anyway. He sees me covered in His blood, and I am learning that He's not sitting on His throne evaluating every action of mine. He. Loves. Me. And He wants me to know and share that love in every moment He gives me on this earth. He wants to focus on Him and His grace and mercy for us. So that's my new question: "Is what I'm doing sharing the love, grace and mercy of Christ?"