Who do you live for? Maybe a better way to ask is this: When you make a decision, who’s best interest is in play?
Or who are you trying to please? It may be yourself, a loved one, people you don’t know but want to impress, or maybe your Creator.
Reading the opening line of Galatians 1, once again I am impressed by Paul’s strong declaration about himself:
Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father….(emphasis mine)
You gotta love Paul! He was a zealous murderer and persecutor of Christians….then he becomes a Christian, is radically changed by God, and goes on to write bold introductions like the one in Galatians 1.
Not only that, he goes on to ask the harsh question in verse 10:
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Ouch. Let’s be honest, no matter how much you love God, this is a human dilemma that we all deal with sometimes. The reality is that sometimes we want to please ourselves, or even people that we don’t know. I think that’s kind of normal to feel sometimes. But our feelings shouldn’t rule us. Furthermore, the more we know and love God, the more we are zealous for pleasing Him.
I know this is kind of rough news. Sort of like the reality that if we want to lose weight, we have to eat right and exercise. Ask anyone who’s lost & maintained weight in a healthy way and maintained it. Yep, same annoying answer. Or, if you’re a runner, and you want to improve your time, how do you improve your time and run faster? You guessed it, by running faster.
The answer to getting off of the treadmill of please me, pleasing others, and the insatiable demands of insecurity that surrounds pleasing others is this: Know God more. Spend time with Him. Read His word. Believe what He says. In doing so, we start to believe the truth about who we are and who God is, and that frees us from caring so much about what others think and pleasing our own flesh.
So, pour a hot cup of coffee, and sit back for little bit this morning with your Bible and your Maker. Maybe you’ll think a little differently today.