Is this you? Are you the one that can’t say no? Do you feel like people constantly use your soft heart to get their way? Does it seem you are the one to always have to keep the peace? Or are you the one that never says yes... whether from fear, shame, or just plain selfishness? As we look at Bathsheba today, we’ll peek into her people-pleasing struggle... and we all have much to learn about this!
If you look up “people-pleasing” on the web, a thousand links pop up for how to break free from it, yet the Bible tells us to put others before ourselves. Its a timeless battle for balance in our hearts and lives. How do we lay our lives down without being trampled on? Great question! Let’s dig in!
Read 1 Kings 2:13-25.
1. What had just happened with Adonijah?
2. Why is it significant who’s son he was and who’s son Solomon was? Why do you think he came to Bathsheba?
3. What did it mean for someone to take the king’s wives, concubines,... for themself? In other words, what was Adonijah attempting to do here?
4. Why do you believe that Bathsheba bent to his request?
5. How did Solomon demonstrate wisdom in denying a seemingly simple request from his mother?
Yikes! I bet tensions were thick in the room when Bathsheba popped the question! Little did she anticipate, that very question led to Adonijah’s death. Another of David’s sons was gone. I imagine Bathsheba was overwhelmed with a deep rush of returning guilt and shame even though this was 2 decades from when her original attempt to please another King had led to the death of her husband and child. Sometimes it feels we’re a prisoner to our weaknesses and bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over.
So, what’s the answer? How do we balance promoting peace, putting others before ourselves, and having wisdom for when and how to do that? How do we break the cycle of unhealthy behavior? Again, great question!
Read Romans 12:1-21.
This passage gives specific instructions for how to live and serve others well... for those of us on BOTH sides of the people-pleasing spectrum! Journal what the Lord lays on your heart in response to the following commands in each verse. They are specific instructions for healthy living:
-vs 1 Present yourself as a living sacrifice to God alone.
-vs 2 Renew your mind in Him for wisdom.
-vs 3 Don’t think too highly of yourself.
-vs 3 Think sensibly in the faith He has given.
-vs 4-8 Promote Biblical delegation in the body rather than “I’ll just do it myself” mentality.
-vs 9 Examine your heart for its motives.
-vs 10 Serve in an honorable way to yourself and others as family members in Christ.
-vs 11 Serve purely and enthusiastically because, really, you’re serving the Lord.
-vs 12 Check your heart’s attitude for joy, patience, generosity, etc. as you lay down your life.
-vs 13 Persist in prayer.
-vs 14 Have a right attitude towards the ones who don’t necessarily understand your mission.
-vs 15 Let your “yes” be one filled with compassion and not obligation.
-vs 16 Serve quietly and humbly... not for attention.
-vs 17 Give CAREFUL thought (while persisting in prayer!) about what you do.
-vs 17 Question everything for rightness in the eyes of everyone... not just the one asking.
-vs 18-20 Watch out for a manipulative heart that bends towards taking matters in your own hands.
-vs 21 Be used by God (rather than man) as a warrior for good.
WHEW! I’m sure you feel pretty overwhelmed by this single passage - just as I am. As we each move forward, let’s remember that God made each of us exactly how He knew best. This is NOT the time to beat ourselves up. Self-pity, regret, and defeat are lies from the enemy to snuff us out. Our tendencies and personalities are part of the Lord’s perfect plan to save all men. So, our calling is not to eliminate what God has created in our spirits, but rather to allow Him to shape our gifts into what can best be used in His kingdom and for His glory. One moment at a time. We will flourish in our well-considered, prayed-over, and purely-motivated “yes” or “no” to each situation.
Tomorrow we say good-bye to Bathsheba. Oh, how I have loved her story! From King David to the King of all kings... tomorrow we connect her story to Jesus!!!