Who Am I Pleasing?

      It seems that our lives are filled with interruptions. It could be a crying toddler that pinched their hand in a door. A friend pressing us to join them shopping. A project deadline at work or any number of infinite requests for us and our time. Now, I am not suggesting to ignore a crying toddler, but our interruptions do reflect our priorities. I was reminded this morning of how important it is to take control of our interruptions.

      I was struck by a statement made by the Apostle Paul encouraging believers in Galatia to set the spiritual priority for their life based on God’s Word. They were being tempted to abandon their faith by false teachers. He calls out their error and the false teachers.  The responsibility to speak the truth overrides what they or these false teachers think. He writes, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

      But what struck home was how critical our priorities are in determining our life direction. King Solomon reminds us that “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) A snare is a trap used to snare an animal. Here the trap ensnares us from obeying our Lord. We often refer to this as a people pleaser, peer pressure or a few other derogatory terms. Now, not all efforts to please others are wrong. The Bible clearly calls us as Jesus’ followers to be other-centered. My focus with our question, “Who Am I Pleasing?” is when it compromises my relationship with my Lord. If you have not figured this out yet, this is a huge challenge for those committed to obeying Jesus.

      Shortly after I came to know Christ, I happened to be at an event with my “friends.” It was not long before someone passed me a pipe pressing me to imbibe. And yes, this was in front of all my other peers present. Now, while we have grown through that (I hope), there continue to be times when the pressure of others tempts us to push our commitments to the Lord aside. It could be skipping church when family or friends come to visit. It could be laughing at a dirty joke with the guys at work or joining others in bashing our husband or wife. Or those time when we bend the truth for our benefit. It could be consuming media content with friends that is inconsistent with our spiritual convictions.

     What stood out to me in our verse in Galatians is, “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” This is where my choices come into play. I see five areas in life that help us to answer the question, “Who Am I Pleasing?” Just take a look at your Calendar, your Checkbook, your Conversations with others, your Contemplations (what you think about) and your Interruptions. If we are committed to being a “servant of Christ” we must give attention to pleasing Him!

-Pastor Joe Parkinson

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