• Leah Blumenstein

Who are you trying to please?

2 Corinthians 5:9-10

"So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil."

Who are you trying to please?

This is a question that undergirds most of the things we do. Is it your boss? Your spouse? Your peers? Whose approval is it that you are looking to validate your actions?

Corinth was a city that was all about gaining prestige, especially if you were in public speaking. The more elegant, the more charismatic the speaker, the bigger paycheck you commanded. These were the status symbols that validated who you are. 

However, when Paul came into town, he could care less about these things. He was an understated speaker, he laid out the truth plainly. One of the critiques of him was that he was more forceful on paper than in person. In a day where status was determined by how big a paycheck you could command, he took a day job so that he would not place a burden on those who he shared Jesus with. 

He was nothing like the kind of men society would esteem and it didn't phase him one bit.


He tells us plainly here- his aim wasn't to please people, but to please God. Paul understood that often you can't please both.  How did he keep that his focus?

He remembered that one day he was going to have to look God in the eye for what he did with the life he was given. That was his motivation. Elsewhere he calls this the fear of the Lord. The point is, you are going to fear someone. You are going to seek someone's approval. That is unavoidable, but who is that going to be... God or men?

All of us will find ourselves in similar situations. The comfortable way will be to make sure everyone likes you, but that doesn't make it the right way. Take note of this- there was one man who always pleased God, and men crucified Him because of it.

My encouragement for you this week is this- stay the course. Make it your goal to please God even when it leads to rejection. Because in doing so you are in good company. He sees your faithfulness, and He will not forget it.

Today let this be your prayer: God help me to follow you even when the temptation to please people seems so rewarding. Help me to walk the hard road of obedience knowing that you notice my faithfulness, and that you walked it first. Give me courage today. Amen.



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