Pleasing God, Pleasing Others
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)
At times you will have to make a choice between pleasing God and
pleasing those around you, for God’s ways are not man’s ways (Isa. 55:8–9). As
important as it is to strive for good relations with others, it is even more
important to maintain a steadfast and obedient relationship with Christ.
Disobeying God to keep peace with other people is never wise. Peace with God is
Jesus warned that obeying Him might cause division in your relationships
(Matt. 10:35–36). If Paul’s primary goal had been to please others, he would
never have become an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul went completely against the
wishes of his colleagues in order to obey Christ. At times, obedience to God
sets family members at odds with each other (Matt. 10:35–36). When you follow
Jesus’ Lordship, your family may misunderstand, or even oppose you, yet your
obedience to God reflects your identity as His child. Jesus said that those who
obey His will are His brothers and sisters (Luke 8:21). God does not intend to
divide the home, but He places obedience before domestic harmony.
It is important to get alone in quietness with God so that you
understand what pleases Him. The world’s thinking will mislead you more easily
when you are not clear about what God desires. It broke Peter’s heart to know that
the opinion of a servant girl had mattered more to him than the approval of his
Lord! If the desire to appease others tempts you to compromise what you know
God wants you to do, learn from Peter’s mistake. Determine that you will please
your Lord regardless of the opinions of others.