God Pleasers

Read: Galatians 1:6-10

Do you find yourself trying to please people too often? I think this is a common tendency, we want to be nice, friendly, and relational with people, and we should be. But sometimes that tendency leads us down the path of pleasing people when it may not coincide with our call to please God.

Perhaps this story that is told is a good example of that….. One time a large company was looking for a new marketing director. After much advertising and many application, three candidates entered the final selection process. The first to be invited in for the final interview was asked a simple question: What is 2+2. The person was surprised, thought about it for a bit, wondered if it might be a trick question and then simply answered 4. The managing director looked at the Board, shook his head and thanked him for coming, but he wasn’t the candidate they were looking for.

The next person came in and and the managing director asked him the simple question as well: What is 2+2. He paused, thought about it for a bit and then replied that statistically it was a number between 3 and 5. The managing director smiled and those on the board were quite impressed. The candidate was thanked and ushered out.

The last candidate was then invited in to the interview and the managing director asked him too the simple question: What is 2+2. Without batting an eyelid he replied: “What do you want it to be”. Without hesitation he was promptly hired on the spot.

Too often that is how people respond to things when they try to be people pleasers. “Whatever you want is fine, as long as it makes you happy.” Sometimes there is nothing wrong with that phrase, but when it leads us away from pleasing God it becomes a spiritual roadblock in our lives. Sometimes doing whatever we want is not what God would want for us or desire for us.

In the book of Galatians Paul was writing to several churches that were started during his first missionary journey to southern Galatia. The people were being deceived by a counterfeit gospel or a false message that was being spread. He said, “Really, it is no gospel at all.” Paul encourages them to not abandon the true message of Christ for the false teachings of those who were leading them away from what truly pleases God.

Our culture today is no different than southern Galatia in A.D. 50 when Paul wrote this letter. The temptation to follow after people pleasing things instead of God pleasing things remains today. We must stay grounded in God’s Word and pray for the discernment of the Holy Spirit to help us remain obedient to God. Isaiah and Peter would agree when they say, “For all people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:24-25)

Make it personal: Think about the people pleasing actions and attitudes that you have been tempted to give into. If they allow you to continue pleasing God then by all means be a people pleaser. However, if they keep you from pleasing God and following his will for your life as laid out in God’s Word, then think twice about being a people pleaser. As Christians our first allegiance is to the Lord.

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church