Galatians 1:10 “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.” (NIV)
Paul poses a life question which deserves to be asked every day of your life. Who did you please today? Were the activities and relationships of your day ordered to bring glory to God or to benefit yourself without regard to God’s calling? Paul answered this question by proclaiming himself a servant to Christ in every area of his life. Leaders who were being impacted by Jesus’ message answered this question differently by forgoing Jesus so as to win the approval of men. John 12:42-43 states, “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” Paul saw life from the lens of pleasing God first. His actions, relationships, and desires were governed first and foremost by what pleased God. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:9, ”So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” You order your life around God . . . because He comes first. You have time with God on a daily basis . . . because He comes first. You grow in relationship with Jesus and experience more of Him . . . because He comes first. When Christ takes a back seat to others, when you do not have time for prayer and Bible reading, or when your activities leave Christ out, you have subtly started seeking the approval and praise of men rather than praise and relationship with God.
Philippians 3:7-9 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (NIV)