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. Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
I certainly don’t want to live for that. You don’t want to live for what? I don’t want to live for the approval of men. Why is that? Living for the approval of men is a waste of time and energy. How so? It’s like trying to please everyone. That’s an impossible task. Let me tell you, I’m speaking from experience. Living to please others leaves a person weary and worn out. Not only it is impossible, it is also thankless. I could run myself ragged and somewhere, someone would be unhappy and disapprove of my efforts. So, you won’t try to please anyone, is that correct? No, that is not correct.
Who will you live to please? First, let me say that there is another even more important reason not to try to live to please men. A choice needs to be made. Why is that? It is impossible to try and please both you and men. What you desire and what men desire are in direct conflict with each other. Mankind is self-serving. Mankind seeks its own benefit. Mankind wants comfort and pleasure. Mankind has hopes and dreams and desires that are entirely earthly and completely unspiritual. Mankind lives in opposition to you. That’s true.
So, it is your desire to live to please me? Yes, it is my desire to live in ways that please you. I want to live as your servant in the world. I want to go and do whatever you ask of me. I want to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. I want to shine as your light in the world. In every way and on every day, I want to be faithful to you. I want to live a life that is approved by you. I want your hand to guide me. I want your favor to rest on me. Those are very good desires. There is something more that you want to say, isn’t there? Yes, there is. I’m listening. I know you are always listening. I know that you know what I am going to say even before I say it. That’s true. Well, here goes, I can’t make myself faithful. I can’t make myself fruitful. On my own, with my own strength, I can’t live a life that is pleasing to you. Only your light can shine in and through me. Only you can help me to live a life that is approved by you. For me to be fruitful your hand will need to guide me, and your favor will need to rest on me. Is that your prayer? Is that your request? Is that your urgent desire? Yes, it is. I will hear and answer your prayer. You will live to please me. You will live a life that has my approval. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, for far too often I cared entirely too much about others thought about me. I lived for the approval of men. I tried to live up to everyone’s expectations. What a foolish mistake. No more of that! Now, I will live as your servant, seeking to solely please you. Amen
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