So many of us have lived our lives placing unmerited value on the opinions of others while discrediting our personal truth and reality. Breaking the shackles of people-pleasing requires honest self-appraisal, a healthy dose of self-esteem, and an enormous commitment to self-realization.
LIVE FREE OR DIE
It is not surprising that many of my daily inspirational readings focus on Matthew 11:29 –
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest in your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
For my generation, these are probably the most difficult times Americans have ever experienced. Our nation has been cut in two by opposing political forces and we are struggling with an unfathomed health crisis.
We have been bamboozled by a capitalistic economy which places unmerited value on materialism, property and assets leaving the majority of us in the lower echelon of a prosperous society. We are seen not as symbols of simplicity, but as statistics of poverty. We have been victimized by a social culture which tells Americans that we are better than the rest of the world. We have been deceived about the earth’s resources – that there is not enough for all mankind; therefore, we should horde and accumulate. We are continually bombarded with our deficiencies rather than our blessings. The cup is always half empty rather than half full. But, Matthew 11:29 says that we don’t have to carry those burdens.
The Gospels are often called ‘the Good News’. Contemporary theologians tend to emphasize the salvific promise of this ‘Good News’ as the salient message. However, the ancients who wrote the scriptures in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were also carrying a message to the disenfranchised, the poor, the oppressed, the underprivileged, the down-trodden not so much about eternity in heaven but about joyous survival on earth.
This message is one that proclaims a freedom from the problems and cares of a materialistic world. That freedom happens when priorities change. Today’s America is just a blip on history’s radar screen. Yes, it is important and we need to pay attention, but it is not important enough to throw our lives into continual depression, fear and defeat.
What can I change about today, what can I not change about today? Pray about it, surrender it and then get on with life. Let Jesus handle it. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. In Psalms we are told to “be still and know God.” The Jewish tradition renders this as “cease striving and know God.” The wisdom of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “let go and let God.”
I will trust in those who have “been there and done that.”