Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:6-7)
We all know people who seem difficult to please. If this was our experience with a parent, it’s easy to enter adulthood with a belief that “I just need to try harder.” Ultimately, however, the compelling drive to please others at all costs is destructive.
For one, the “try harder” mentality can wreak havoc in our relationship with God. Cognitively, we may understand God’s accepting nature, but core beliefs that were formed in childhood keep telling us otherwise. Somehow the free gift of grace or the idea that God can be happy with us does not compute. After all, aren’t we always messing up and inviting his displeasure?
God Does Not Relate Like Sinful Human Parents
Here is the good news. God is not one who is “impossible to please.” He is not irrational nor capricious in his dealings with us. Nor is he needing to play manipulative head games out of insecurity. And he is not into guilt tripping. He is forthright. We can always know where we stand with him. When we sin, his Spirit convicts us so that we might confess and be forgiven. Immediately. Groveling or renewed efforts do not earn the right to enter his good graces again. We are invited to draw near because the Father’s arms are always wide open to his children.
Can it really be true that the Father is that easily pleased? What good parent, despite how many times discipline was necessary that day, would not joyfully respond to his child’s overtures—showing a drawing, asking to be pushed on the swing, raising little arms indicating he wants to be held?
The Father’s Joy in His Children
Imagine the enormity of this beautiful thought: Every small turning to our Father, every brief uplifting of your face to his, every questioning glance his way, lifts his heart. Why? Simply because you are his child.
I want to ask, “But don’t you have standards, God? I never seem to measure up. How can you possibly be pleased with me?”
He seems to answer, “Don’t worry. Relax and let yourself enjoy our relationship. This is what it means to be my daughter.”
My Father is easily pleased. What a most astounding thought. He who is holy and would have every right to be continually angry with me has set aside condemnation and tells me to draw near (Hebrews 10:22). I can practice keeping short accounts. I don’t have to worry that there are hidden things that displease my Father. I can trust the Holy Spirit to reveal what needs to be confessed. In the meantime, I can go on rejoicing in his gracious Presence.
Let’s say this together: “I am my Father’s daughter (or son), and he is easily pleased.”
Let’s say it again, “My Father is easily pleased by me.”
Say it again and again until it permeates every part of your soul.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1a)