Do It Anyways
The “pressures” of serving God can present themselves in many ways. As a woman, it’s easy to feel anxiety because of our habit of constantly comparing ourselves to other women in ministry. Other times, it’s easy to become overly self-conscious: worried that things won’t be perfect, worried you may sing a wrong word to the special, worried you may not have decorations that everyone likes at the upcoming banquet, worried that your dish at the church potluck won’t taste right. To those of you who have never felt like this, I know this may sound odd. But trust me, it’s a thing.
A lot of times when you are in a specific position of leadership in your church, especially as a woman, you tend to add extra pressure to yourself. I’ve even met a few women who feel like others are “out to get them.” I’d be lying if I said I never have felt these pressures before.
I’ve been studying the book of Matthew in my personal devotions, and the Lord is showing me so many things about how to handle situations. Yesterday while I was reading in chapter 12 a few verses really stood out to me about how to handle these pressures. To give you some context from earlier in the chapter. There is a man with a crippled hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath, they were trying to catch him breaking the law so they could accuse Him. In verse 13, Jesus instructed the man with a crippled hand to stretch out his hand, and he was immediately healed. We will pick up in verse 14:
14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;
What you can see here is the Pharisees looking to accuse Jesus. They were “out to get Him.” Christ wasn’t naïve, He was completely aware of what they were doing. In verse 15, He simply pulled himself away from the drama, the accusers, the pressure and continued anyways. Without fear of what would happen, what people would think or how they would react. He just served.
Talk about convicting. This portion of Scripture reminded me of who I am: just a servant. So it doesn’t matter who is around, who I’m anxious to impress or who may not like the food I make for the church potluck; I’m just going to do it anyways. I’m going to serve without the fear or anxiety of what others will think of my service.
I think the portion in verse 15 where “he withdrew himself” is the biggest part that stood out to me. There was an entire group of people that were against Him. Christ knew that they were and instead of trying to gain their approval, he just removed himself from the situation so He could continue to minister without distraction.
So, here’s just a little reminder: when people are around you, when you feel the pressure, when you’re getting worried or stressed over a situation: get away from the stress and just serve God anyways.