For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
That’s a powerful verse. When I ran across it this week, I halted. I know I’ve read Galatians through end to end several times, but for some reason this is the first time God really illuminated this verse for me. I encourage you to think about what this verse is saying. As Christians we are called to serve God, in doing so there will be countless times that our actions do not please others around us. We cannot, however, let this stop what God has called us to. When the pressures of this world surround you, and you feel that you are failing in man’s eyes, you must remember that you are Christ’s. He bought you with His blood when he died on the cross. Pleasing man should no longer concern you.
Who are you trying to please?
In our culture where so much emphasis is put on money, status, higher education, success, and simply fitting in, there is, no doubt, much pressure on us as individuals to try to exceed and impress those around us. We buy trendy clothes, go to certain schools, live in particular neighborhoods, obsess over our careers, ponder over how much(or how little) money we have in the bank. As the saying goes, most of us – like it or not – are trying to keep up with the Joneses. But what does all that really mean in the grand scheme of life? Will our obsession to “fit in” or be better than the next person really matter in the Kingdom of Christ? Absolutely not! As Christians our focus should not be on the material, but on the Spiritual. We need to be constantly checking our motivations for why we are doing what we are doing.
Are we living our lives to please others around us?
Are we living life to simply please ourself?
Do we do things on a daily basis because it “just feels good,” or because “this is what I’m supposed to do”?
Really ask yourself why you do what you do.
When was the last time any of us actually obsessed over living for God? We invest so much of our energy into politics, sports, school, careers, and yet we don’t leave any time for Christ. Instead of pushing Him to only our Sunday morning activity, He should be the reason we are living.
We should be focused on how Christ wants us to live our lives to His fullness. All throughout scripture, Christ calls us to be holy and set apart from the world. That means that we ought to set our standards according to His Word. Instead of living our lives pandering to others, we should remember that Christ is the One we are called to serve.
~ Peace to all of you who are in Christ. (1 Peter 5:14b)