“…just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4¹
What do we do to please other people?
Many folks wear masks. They walk into church or a crowd or the workplace smiling and glad-handing their friends or co-workers. When someone asks how they’re doing, their pat answer is, “Fine.” But they’re not fine. They’re undergoing satanic attacks at home, at work, and with extended family.
Some of us go out of our way to please others instead of God. We do something special for someone who doesn’t even acknowledge our effort. Or we sacrifice our time and money to help out on a project and get no recognition for our hard work. Then we feel bad about it because others won’t recognize our efforts to please them.
Some folks live at church. They’re on 17 committees, teach three classes, volunteer in the nursery and go unfulfilled. Why? Because we’re trying so hard to please man rather than God. All that work you do that you think serves God doesn’t. It just wears you out. We serve so hard to gain God’s acceptance and we already have it.
When we try to please other people we think life will be better. We want other people to be pleased with us so they’ll accept us and like us. To many folks, they consider pleasing others as a reward.
But pleasing other people doesn’t improve our lives. In fact if we don’t choose to please God first instead of pleasing other people, we lose. Hebrews 11:6 says, “…He (God) is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” If we live to please man we will fail; but if we live to please God we will live an obedient, effective life.
Living in obedience to His word is an outward sign of an inward commitment. Living in obedience energizes us to discover the purpose for our lives that God holds. Obedience is a daily, moment-by-moment, choice-by-choice commitment of our hearts. Because as soon as we make a commitment to live in obedience to God, Satan comes along side us and says, “Oh, yeah. why don’t you try this?” Every obedient choice bumps up against a temptation or a sin the devil will offer up.
One way to be effective is to look past our obstacles and think of them as opportunities. Paul and Timothy had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi. But they, “had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.” v.2:2.
To be effective in our obedience we must also live with a purity of purpose. In verse 2:3 Paul says, “our exhortation (what we are telling you about the Gospel) does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit.” In other words, when they taught they were being obedient to what God had revealed to them as Truth.
¹A message from Senior Pastor, Gearl Spicer, One Heart Church in Norcross, Georgia was the inspiration for this blog.