READ: Genesis 28-30, Psalm 10, Matthew 10, Acts 10
Jacob was married to four women, three of them he did not choose. Rachel missed out on her own wedding and was barren because her rival was unloved. Leah, perhaps most disappointed of all, given to someone who loved another.
Leah longed to be loved. She tried so hard to win her husband’s affection. If she could only produce sons – then her husband would love her, then she would be appreciated, then she would be wanted. None of her efforts to please others was accomplished, and in the end her disappointment led her to God’s intended destiny: praise. At the end of futile efforts to please others is the realization that what we should have been doing all along is praising the Lord.
It is not only futile to live a life that seeks the approval of others, it is also wicked. “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God, God is in none of his thoughts” (Psalm 10:4). We need to soberly realize that our pursuit of affirmation from people is wickedness. It is sin to be more concerned with what people (even good people, even fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters) think of us than what God thinks. God must be in our thoughts. When we don’t live a life for His approval, we sin wickedly.
This is what it means to live a life worthy of Jesus (Matt. 10:37). We live most concerned about honoring Him, dedicated to winning His approval. Jesus has to be supreme in our affections, confessions, and attentions. When we can lose the life of trying to please others, when we care first for what Jesus thinks, when we find a life that constantly confesses Christ above man or woman, we join Leah in praise. Our lives declare, “NOW, we will praise the Lord.”