“I have contemplated this statement, thinking about the difference between the call of God on the one hand (as revealed through the Holy Spirit’s work in our conscience) and the call or influence of other people whom we deem powerful or important on the other hand (what Sigmund Freud would call the power of the super-ego). I think about this in the context of church work—about how easy it is for the church to unintentionally manipulate people. According to Freud, the super-ego is the part of the conscious that deeply feels and responds to the expectations that other people and institutions place upon us. The super-ego is our receptor site for people-pleasing. Even as a believer, it is easy to become people-pleasing instead of God-pleasing” (p. 53).

Reading: But all their works they do for to be seen of men…” —Matthew 23:5;The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.”—Proverbs 29:25 

Selections from The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Pittsburgh: Crown & Covenant, 2012). Used with permission.