On some level, we all want to be liked. It might not be the driving force behind everything we do, but the accolades of others can heavily influence how we live our lives. I am inclined to think that most all of us care, at least a little, about what others think of us. If we aren’t careful, striving for the approval for others can get in the way of living out what God has called us to do.
Paul talks about that mindset in Galatians 1:10.
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.
Following Jesus will inevitably put us at odds with worldly thinking and living. Obedience to Jesus can make us look foolish to our family and friends. It isn’t fun to be laughed at or made fun of because we are different. It can be downright miserable.
In those moments when we are fearful of looking foolish, we must trust God. We must trust that He is good. We must trust that He loves us. We must trust His promise to be with us. We must trust that God’s approval is more important than the approval of others. We must trust that Jesus is the far better treasure than the applause and accolades of others. It can certainly be difficult, but Jesus is well worth the sacrifices that we make in order to follow Him.
Questions for Reflection?
- How do you respond when being faithful to Jesus puts you at odds with people close to you?
- Have you ever allowed the approval of human beings to get in the way of serving God?
- Are you motivated by pleasing people or pleasing God?