Together in Christ: 'Who Am I Trying to Please?' — Galatians 1:10

Friday, June 24, 2022

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.
— Galatians 1:10 NLT

Key Thought

Every so often, we should carefully examine our lives and ask one vital question: "Who am I trying to please?" Most of us never pause to evaluate our lives. We rarely look for the motivation behind our behaviors or the words we have chosen to say. We seldom ask why we made a decision. If we don't ask these questions, our desires to be accepted can enslave us to the approval of others.

Paul's statement of purpose at the beginning of his important letter to the Galatians reminds us that there are far more important things than winning approval from others. While wanting to influence others for good is laudable, we cannot forget the One we are trying to please: God! If we are more concerned about pleasing others, our desire for acceptance can corrupt our motivation and destroy our influence for good. [1] We become the slave of others' approval rather than being servants of Christ!

We must not compromise or water down God's truth to keep people happy. Jesus didn't, and he changed the world, paying a high price for integrity. Paul didn't, and he has influenced millions upon millions, but he also paid a high price for his convictions. Learning to speak the truth in love means saying the truth with gentleness and respect without comprising the truth God wants us to communicate. [2] Our goal is to be winsome, likable, adaptable, and genuine in our relationships so we can win as many to Jesus as possible. [3] But, the motivation for our behaviors must be to please God, not be popular!

[1] 1 Corinthians 15:33.
[2] 1 Peter 3:13-17.
[3] 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.

Today's Prayer

Loving Father, I know that You want all people to come to know Jesus. I have people I dearly love and want to know the joy of Your salvation. Help me discern my motivations as I speak with them and enter into friendship with them. I do not want to water down the truth of Jesus, but I do want to communicate Your love and grace with gentleness and respect. I do not want to compromise my character to win the approval of others. Please help me discern between being spiritually winsome and compromising my dedication to Christ Jesus by playing to the crowd. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1
  • 1 Timothy 4:11-16


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Illustration of Galatians 1:10 NLT — 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.

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.