LIVE TO PLEASE GOD, NOT MAN (Lessons from Paul 4)
As Christians, we are facing more and more opposition to the Gospel. That can put on a lot of pressure to compromise so we aren’t rejected for our faith. It can be hard for us to stand up and declare the truth of God’s Word when we know what we say won’t be received very well and we won’t be popular for saying it. It was hard for Paul as well, but he did it (Galatians 1:10). He never sugar-coated the truth so it would be better received. He never worried about what others might think of him. He was only concerned with what God thought of him, not others. God was the only audience he cared about. He was very serious about the things of God and wasn’t influenced by what others thought of him.
I’m sure he would have liked to have everyone think well of him, but he knew that wouldn’t happen (Matthew 5:11-12). In fact, he knew that if everyone did agree with him then something was wrong and he wasn’t standing up for God’s truth (Luke 6:26).
It’s tempting today to try to be a Christian but not say or do anything that will offend others because we don’t want their criticism or rejection. It’s easy to become too dependent on what others think and say about us. Fear of others can be a big problem. We can’t fear both God and man, though. It’s one or the other.
We can see the lives of many around us who do all they can to be popular and well liked by everyone. We may even envy them. But would you really change places with them if you could? Would you give up Jesus and all you have from Him just to be popular? How much better it is to have Jesus’ approval and smile than that of others around you. If you believe He is the Truth you have a responsibility to share His truth with others. Withholding the solution to their problems would be like a scientist withholding the cure for cancer from others because he thought they may mock him and not believe him. Yet we have something much more valuable and life-changing than even a cure for cancer. We have the answer to all man’s needs. Don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t fear how others may react. Live to please God, not man.
Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Luke 6:26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.
Who are you living to please? Whose opinion of you are you most aware of, people’s or God’s?
When are you most tempted to avoid standing up for the truth of God’s Word? Why? Ask God to give you courage when you need it.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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