A useful tool for getting ahead, building a great reputation, and driving yourself nuts, pleasing others is a temptation.
Personally, I have been facing this temptation rather obviously. The recent struggle has required me to either strive to please a certain person or act according to what God says is right. I’m reaping some very frustrating consequences due to not pleasing said person.
Yet I’m glad for this, thanking the Lord even in the unpleasant.
Galatians 1:10 challenges you and I:
“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.”
Step 1: Trying
Trying to please people starts with striving and intending. It begins in our hearts when we shape our thoughts in pursuit of getting the approval or acceptance of others.
Step 2: To Please
Biblos.com defines the action:
Pleasing someone requires action (or inaction) in accordance with that person’s wishes. It is acting as they would like you to. Just as a servant would do.
Step 3: People
The first two steps happen in order; we strive to please. It’s this last bit where we make a clearer choice.
Choosing “people” isn’t the better option. “People” means not God.
Our striving, working, and serving are all to be unto the Lord. That is what is best for us and what brings Him glory.
Just as money and God cannot both be our masters, other people and God cannot both be those we submit to. Other people and God have far too many competing purposes, directions, and methods for us to obey both simultaneously. His way ultimately wins out in the end.
Start on the winning side. Begin with the trying to please God. Sometimes (often!) He asks us to do things that will also please other people. It’s lovely. Just be prepared to make the choice when called upon.
As I can attest far too well at the moment: choosing God over man is always worth it, but man doesn’t tend to react well. Thankful the Lord approves, gives grace, and can even work in those “others” who are displeased with me.
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