Galatians 1:10 - Boundaries: Pleasing God or Pleasing Others? (update)
Galatians 1:10 - Boundaries: Pleasing God or Pleasing Others?
Galatians 1:10 (NIV) 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.
No Other Gospel: Galatians 1:1-10.
COMMENTARY APPLICATION with Emphasis on v. 10.
Do you spend your life trying to please everybody? Paul had to
speak harshly to the Christians in Galatia because they were in
serious danger. He did not apologize for his straightforward words,
knowing that he could not serve Christ faithfully if he allowed the
Galatian Christians to remain on the wrong track. Whose approval are you
seeking--others' or God's? Pray for the courage to seek God's approval above
anyone else's. [Life Application SB]
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 (Is
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 always paramount.
Jesus warned that obeying Him might cause division in your
relationships (Mt 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 (Mt
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 (Lu 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. [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and
A young man once studied violin under a world-renowned
violinist and master teacher. He worked hard for several years at
perfecting his talent, and the day finally came when he was called upon to
give his first major public recital in the large city where both he
and his teacher lived. Following each selection, which he performed
with great skill and passion, the performer seemed uneasy about the
great applause he received. Even though he knew those in the audience
were musically astute and not likely to give such applause to a less
than superior performance, the young man acted almost as if he
couldn't hear the appreciation that was being showered upon him.
At the close of the last number, the applause was thunderous
and numerous "Bravo's" were shouted. The talented young violinist,
however, had his eyes glued on only one spot. Finally, when an elderly
man in the first row of the balcony smiled and nodded to him in
approval, the young man relaxed and beamed with both relief and joy. His
teacher had praised his work! The applause of thousands meant nothing
until he had first won the approval of the master.
Who are you most trying to please today? [God's Little
Paul knew that if he was going to be a real servant of Christ,
he could not tiptoe around the message that the people of Galatia
needed to hear. They were in much danger of being led astray by false
teaching, and he did not make apologies for his bluntness or
straightforwardness in steering them back to the truth. Paul knew that he was
dealing with life-and-death issues because the Judaizers' perversion of
the gospel of Christ was spreading like wildfire throughout Galatia.
"I am trying to please God," he proclaimed. He was clear on who his
real audience was: God. Is our focus on pleasing people or on
pleasing God? What dilemmas, situations, concerns, or people do you face
that tempt you not to speak out in boldness or not to live in a way
that will bring God the greatest honor and glory? Just as Paul did,
we can exchange being a people pleaser for a much higher
calling--being a servant of Christ!
LORD, I desire to live as Christ's servant and not as a people
pleader. I realize that I cannot seek the approval of others as I live
for you. It is your approval alone that I seek, the approval that
really counts. Help me to speak and act in boldness and love as I serve
you. [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller]
MINI-VIDEO DEVOTIONAL ON THIS PASSAGE:
Careful and Consistent Study by Pastor Boonstra: