People-pleasers or God-pleasers?

I live beside a cemetery. Some people might think that’s creepy, but not me. Maybe it’s because I’m not afraid of death.

A few months ago I wandered through it, looking at the names on the headstones. Some had lived a hundred years, others a hundred days. It was a reminder about the shortness of life. Compared to eternity, our lives on earth are a drop in the bucket.

It got me thinking. What do people strive for all their lives? What do they want to be remembered for? 

Is it being popular or successful? Is it being wealthy or happy? Is it always being right and never losing an argument?

In the early 19th century, John Brown said: “The fear of God means to esteem the smiles and frowns of God to be of greater weight than the smiles and frowns of men.”*

In other words, when we truly fear God—meaning when we truly and profoundly revere him—we will care more about pleasing him than pleasing people.

In Galatians 1:10, Paul writes: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?… If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

There’s an expression: “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.” The second part is right, the first part is wrong. Good times are nice when they happen, but they’re not the purpose of life. We’re here to glorify and serve God.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God?”

Life is short. Who are you trying to please?


NEW PODCAST: Spiritual warfare – a talk with Jon Thompson. What is spiritual warfare? Why do some avoid it? Isn’t the Bible just ‘out of date’? Who is our enemy? Does possession still happen? How do we win?! I discuss all this and more (put on your seatbelts) with Jon Thompson, author of Deliverance, on ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan.’ Click here. You can also find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn.

Bible Study Podcast on John 3:22-36. March 13, 2022: “He must become greater; I must become less – The Humility of John the Baptist.” Click here.

–*I’ve seen and heard Brown quoted to this effect but don’t have the original source.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV. 

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