Seeking Approval-

May 29, 2024 | Growing in God's Grace

“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.
Galations 1:10 ESV

 

If there is one thing we all struggle with, it’s probably trying to be liked and appreciated by others. We all like to be noticed.

If our goal is to win people’s approval in all we do, to be popular, then we really aren’t doing what we are doing for God’s glory. We are not really Christ’s servant.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Galatians, chapter one. He stressed that what he taught was the message he received straight from Jesus Christ, our LORD.

Paul opens Galations with the statement he is an apostle not through man or from men but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.

What a statement that is. Paul expounds upon were his beginnings as an apostle originated. Paul, brought to life through Jesus Christ, who rescued him from the dead, now lives to please Christ. And that must be our agenda, too. I recognize in my life there are times I do things for a pat on the back. What about you?

Christians are not exempt from needing to check our motives. Do we seek to manipulate praise from others? Do seek favour of people, the praise of others, before we want the praise of God? Are we boasting of ourselves or promoting the name of Jesus? God alone knows our motives, and we need to keep them pure. Paul had to make it clear to the Galations whom he was serving, perhaps we need to do the same.

May we never look to the praises of man for our applause over God’s approval of us. The praise of people is fickle, flimsy and will flip-flop, blow as the winds blow. God is our anchor, not people.

This is how Galations one verse ten to twelve gets paraphrased in The Message Bible…

“Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or court favour with God?

Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity, I wouldn’t bother being Christ’s slave.

Know this — I am most emphatic here, friends — this great Message

I delivered to you is not mere human optimism. I didn’t receive it through the traditions, and,

I wasn’t taught it in some school.

I got it straight from God, received the Message directly from Jesus Christ.”

Paul had to warn the Galations not to desert the gospel of Jesus Christ and turn to a false gospel, a distorted gospel. We need to ask God to help us discern truth from lies in the preaching of the Bible.

If ever there was a time in history when the Bible is being twisted, turned and manipulated for individual agendas it is today. How many Christians get led astray by a false gospel, by wolves in sheep’s clothing?

This may not be a popular subject. If the Bible covers the subject, it needs to be addressed.

Paul is a good example who exemplified Christ in what he spoke. Sometimes he was bold and blunt, on other occasions he spoke engagingly and with charisma. In all situations, he sought to win the favour of God.

We need discernment in how to speak as a Christian. How to stay true to God’s Word.

As Believers we also need to be in a Church that provides faithful preaching.

May we bring praise to God, and may that be our motive in living.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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