Am I now trying to win human approval, or God's approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
To say Paul was strong of character and personality is a fierce understatement. He could be scary stubborn. He stood firm in the courage of his convictions. The same determination that fueled his persecution of the church before his conversion was amplified even more as an apostle of Jesus Christ. In any battle I would want Paul in my corner. Even if it meant being friendless, Paul was determined to stay the course in preaching the gospel truth revealed to him. His goal was to please God, not people.
I am a recovering people-pleaser. I like people to like me. Still today I can fall for the temptation of tailoring my words and actions to win the approval of others rather than God. But I cannot serve two masters. If I am primarily driven by a need to please people then I cannot be the servant of Christ that I am called to be. And so sometimes God will call me to say some hard things, to stand firm in my convictions, to correct - hopefully all with grace. I will need to do these things and more if I am to please God rather than people. In the end the only audience that counts is the Audience of One.
So Lord, this week as I seek to serve your with my life, help me to turn from any god other than you. My my life - all of it - play for your glory alone. In your power and strength I pray and live.