Verse: Galatians 1:10
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
I think this verse was written knowing that one day I would need to read it. As I've gotten older I've seen how, at times, my desire for people to like me makes it difficult for me to make hard decisions. I want to "win the approval" of people.
Following Jesus, there will be times when we will be faced with a decision. Do I go with the flow? Do I do/say/believe what I know others want me to? Or do I choose to please God over people?
If you are a student it could be at school choosing to not join in when others are making poor choices. It can be so alienating to "stand out" like that, though, and that's part of why it's so difficult. At work, we may be forced to choose between doing what is right, and doing what "everyone else is doing." For instance, when others are gossiping, what do we do? When others are cutting corners, what do we do? And when it comes to morality, or how we talk, or how we treat others, we may be tempted to "be like those around us" when instead, God's path heads in a different direction.
This is not easy. It will, at times, cost us to follow Jesus. But he promises that following him will lead us to the fullness of life.
Carson Wentz was the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback the past few years. I was (am) a big fan. Things didn't pan out for him as a quarterback, however, he started a non profit that does amazing work in the community. The name of his brand that supports it is "Audience of One." I like that idea. There are times in my life when I get nervous about how I'm going to act, or what I'm going to say, and I just have to close my eyes and think for a second: my life is lived before God, not people. Whatever happens, whatever I do or say, is it how I want to live my life before an Audience of One? Or am I trying to please the masses?
What I do with my time, my money, my body, my social media....would I do that if Jesus was truly my audience? Is the way I live my life pleasing to God, or pleasing to others? These are hard questions, but ones I think we all wrestle with daily. My prayer for us today is that we would become more sensitive to the Spirit's conviction, and that we would become more courageous when it takes some guts to follow Jesus.
I pray that you would convict me, Lord, when I am following the "flow" of the culture more than following you and your Word. Give me the courage to stand up, and even, stand out, when needed.