Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (KJV)
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NIV)
Wednesday evening as my wife was teaching a Bible study, she used this Scripture in the course of her teaching. This particular verse jumped out at me and yelled "Blog this!". So here we are.
How many times have we, as Christians, by our actions showed we wanted to please men? Oh, we will deny it and even try to convince ourselves and others otherwise. But the reality is we do want to please men. We want to be accepted by others. We want to fit in.
This need for man's acceptance is something we must get over! You see, if we are going to be used of God we are going to rattle some cages along the way. We are going to make waves. Some are even going to consider us radical!
One cannot be a genuine minister of the gospel (and all Christians are ministers) and attempt to please people by compromising the truths of the gospel. It just can't happen. Paul regarded it as his responsibility to speak plainly and straightforward the message of the gospel not as pleasing men, but as pleasing God! As believers we are to make it our goal to please God, not men.
Think about it, do you spend you life trying to please everybody else? That's a recipe for insanity or depression at the very least. The reality is you will never please everyone. Man in fickle. Our aim should be to please the One who gave Himself for us!
I don't see where Paul apologized for speaking straightforward to the people he ministered to. Paul knew he couldn't serve God faithfully if he compromised the message of the gospel. The message that meant so much to him and literally changed his life inside out.
Having said that, love should be the motivating factor in our message. We share the pure unadulterated Word of God because of the love God had for us, the love we have for Him and the love we have for others. There's no room for compromise. It is, however, imperative that our message be presented in love. Love is the motivating factor in all we do.
I ask you today, whose approval are you seeking? The approval of other people, or God's? I challenge you to pray for the courage and spiritual fortitude to put God's approval first!
Until next time...enjoy the journey!
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