‘For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ’ – Galatians 1:10

Hello again, Willing Spirits!

Who doesn’t love extended weekends?! It’s bank holiday Monday and I hope you’re enjoying your much needed rest from work, school, college or university. It’s also a new month and we thank God for bringing us into yet another!

I have watched a movie where the main character went above and beyond to please an institution so that he could later attend there. But the things he did were harmful to not only those around him but to himself to the point where he did not know who he was anymore. Sure some of the people in the institution liked him but at what cost? Was it worth it? This is what caused discomfort within him and made him second guess what it was he was doing.

Similarly, sometimes some of us go beyond our boundaries or what we stand for or the things we know God won’t approve of, to “fit in” or gain the approval of or please man. For example, consistently changing the way we behave to be seen in a certain way or doing things we wouldn’t normally do just because the next person is doing it and getting approval for it. Sometimes we don’t even realise we do it or we try to have both the approval of the world and God at the same time. It isn’t easy to live in a world and not be of it but that ought to be the case because we are already citizens of somewhere else: Heaven (provided we are righteous and keep God‘s commands). So we cannot also be citizens of the world. The world and the kingdom of Heaven are two different masters and we cannot try to please or love both as Jesus already told us ‘“no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other”‘ [Matthew 6:24 NKJV].

Now, it is important to note that seeking the approval of our bosses at work, for example, is not what this is about! Wanting to do well at work or school etc. is not a bad thing and is not what this verse depicts. The bible says “men” which means humans in general which brings us back to the point of serving two masters. Paul uses the word “bondservant” which means being bound to a service without wages. Essentially, someone bound to God. Pleasing man hinders us from being said kind of servant because we cannot do the two. We should only seek God‘s approval.

“God’s approval should be the only approval we seek”

A Willing Spirit

Throughout the bible, people have had to choose which side they were on; the world’s or God‘s, there was no in between or middle ground. Even now, people are choosing and it won’t ever stop until kingdom come. Like Joshua said to the Israelites: ‘“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…”‘ [Joshua 24:15]. It only makes sense then to say that whoever we seek approval of or try to please is the side we choose. As children of God it is only right to choose His side which means not caring what the world deems “good” or “pleasing” just as long as God likes it. And there will be times we may even be hated for it but that is only normal. We saw this happen with the disciples as Jesus said it ‘“…and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world”‘ [John 17:14] The great thing about pleasing God and being on His side is that we know where our future lies if we persevere. We know that the hurt and hate is only temporary.

As we go about our week and the rest of our lives, let’s choose God. Every. Single. Day. Let’s aim to please Him and only Him not only because we know it to be the right thing, but because we want to and because He has done great things for us and continues to do so. Who wouldn’t want to please Him then!

Have a lovely week!

– A Willing Spirit x

2 thoughts on “‘For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ’ – Galatians 1:10

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