Monday, February 11, 2013

What Does the Bible Say About Pleasing People?

Sometimes you have to choose who to please. You might please one person and in doing so offend another. Sometimes the bigger question is if we choose to please some people will we offend God?

"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." Galatians 1:10, NIV.

There was a time before he received the calling to Christ when the Apostle Paul persecuted the church and in doing so he was pleasing men who highly esteemed his zeal. Upon his conversion Paul turned from the former ways and lived a new life that his society scorned. He even paid the price of martyrdom for his new faith.

We want approval. It is an honest need. We want others to think well of us, it goes back to childhood where we want our parents to be pleased with us. For a child approval is nice, it makes him feel good and helps him mature. In an adult it is different. We should able to act independently of other's approval. Yet it is a legitimate desire; for to an adult approval is a measure of inclusion, acceptance, community and belonging. These are healthy things.

Paul was not against man's approval. He just didn't go out of his way for it. He responded to Jesus and if it meant he lost the approval of men it was worth it. If his service to God won the approval of men that was a bonus but the point of his life was something else.

Paul gave up status and lost the favor of his countrymen to follow Christ. For him it was a choice that was no choice because the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus so far outweighed the worth of man's esteem*. Paul gave up ambition to please men and chose to be a servant of Christ.

We can't be both one who seeks to win the favor of men and of God. If we are living to please men we can't be a servant of Christ. We must choose either the fickle favor of people or the eternal esteem of Christ.

* See also Philippians 3:8

To learn more about coming to Christ see my other post, follow this link: Click Here.

(c)Adron Dozat

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