Together in Christ: 'Who Are We Living to Please?' — Psalm 37:5-6

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

— Psalm 37:5-6 NLT

Key Thought

Despite all that Jesus taught, many in church leadership get caught up in the business of trying to please church members and forget the One we should be trying to please. I don't think preachers, pastors, ministers, and church leaders are alone in this battle. Many of the rest of us also want to impress our friends with our experiences, awards, and achievements and please them by the things we do and say — this "virus-to-please is super-active in social media. We want our time and effort to matter to others as much as they do to us. After all, this desire to impress and be validated is part of the addictive lure of social media! But, we must remember we are trying to please God, not win the applause of people. [1] Paul, the apostle, spoke the truth bluntly when he said:

Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant. [2]

In our relationships, we must be who we are as followers of Jesus and who God has called us to be. We are not callous toward the feelings of others. Rather, we do choose to act "in a gentle and respectful way" toward those around us. [3] At the same time, we know that people can be fickle, and their approval comes and goes. Their standards of judgment can change with the shifting tides of popular culture. Only what we invest in God, godliness, and His Kingdom work will stand the test of time and provide a foundation for friends to trust us. [4] There is a good chance in our world so skewed from the righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful justice of God that few people will value our behaviors as our Father in heaven does. But we cannot serve two masters. [5] So, let's choose to live to receive our heavenly Father's "well done, my good and faithful servant" when we are welcomed in our eternal home with Him. [6]

[1] Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.
[2] Galatians 1:10.
[3] 1 Peter 3:13-17.
[4] Proverbs 27:6; Matthew 7:24-27.
[5] Matthew 6:24.
[6] Matthew 25:21, 23, 34-36, 40.

Today's Prayer

In Jesus' name, dear Father, I offer myself to you as a "living and holy sacrifice." [A] However, I need Your help not to have garnering human attention and approval as my motivation. I want my life to honor and please You. I invest my life's value in You. I trust that You will "establish the work of [my] hands". [B] Amen.

[A] Romans 12:1-2.
[B] Psalm 90:17 NIV.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Romans 12:1-2, 9-17
  • 1 Peter 2:9-17, 3:13-17

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Illustration

Illustration of Psalm 37:5-6 NLT — Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.