For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?…If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ
Galatians 1: 10 (ESV)
What simple but profound logic and a thoughtful principle for believers to wisely consider. Is it possible to be an honest servant of both a corrupt master and a righteous one? Are we striving to please those of obvious stature and those whom we may greatly admire, while concurrently pretending to serve God with a clean contrite heart? Do we make moral and ethical concessions to remain accepted by our earthly friends and benefactors while lying to God about our commitment to him?
We have all acted just like the younger Pharisee Saul and his fellow religious zealots. When we strive to please man in our own interest, perhaps even with the pretense of serving God, we become narrow, cold, and ridged in our thinking. We are compelled to abandon our conscience allowing little or no room for God’s grace in our lives. For the power inherent in God’s amazing grace flows only into and through those humbly seeking after the righteousness of the kingdom of God and the truth that undergirds it, not to those already consumed by their own aggrandizement and earthly ambitions.
As for me, I want to live joyously and peacefully forever in the kingdom of God, not laboriously climbing through social circles or up the ladder of success just to come crashing down. For in life, we can only faithfully serve one master at a time. And the freedom that Christ Jesus offers us by granting us full-unrestricted access to all truth and unconditional love in his kingdom and freedom from our enslavement to sin is paramount. It requires neither moral or ethical trade-offs nor loss of personal integrity and is free for the taking. So be mindful, if you’re not serving God, you know who’s next on the list, because it is one or the other!
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to keep our consciences clean while keeping our hearts and minds turned toward you alone for our spiritual nourishment and guidance. Amen.
A F Fischer