Monday, June 8, 2015

No Hidden Agenda

By Andrea Merrell

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: 
Take your everyday, ordinary life — your sleeping, 
eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life — and 
place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him … Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2b MSG

How do you measure up?

I lived a large portion of my life as a people-pleaser, always trying to get approval by meeting the standards of others.

Raised by a very strict, legalistic grandfather, I learned early-on that to stay in his good graces, my behavior, attitude, grades, and everything else about me had to be, well … perfect. At least in his eyes. Looking back, I can clearly see his agenda: not being embarrassed or having his good reputation marred by his granddaughter.

As I got older, finished school, and moved into the workplace, it seemed everyone had some sort of agenda. Even friends and family members. As a result, my goal became trying to be what everyone else thought I should be. 

Trust me—not a good way to live.

Freedom finally came when I realized God has no hidden agenda—no favors He requires of me or unmet needs I’m expected to fix. He created and designed me for a purpose that no other living soul can fulfill. He’s not threatened by my success or embarrassed by my failures. He is continually at work, helping me to become the best possible version of myself—the one He created me to be.

When we place our everyday, ordinary life before God as an offering, He can do amazing things. A life lived to please others is a shallow life at best. It leads to frustration, confusion, and a feeling of emptiness. Only a life lived for God leads to true joy and a sense of accomplishment and peace.

(Photos courtesy of