Do I Seek Only to Please Men?

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” —Galatians 1:10

Reading: Galatians 1

A Christian who was visiting a theological institution was shocked at the advice given by one of the professors. The professor was asked by a student what the answer should be to a man who inquired as to whether Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead or not. The professor advised the student to ask the man what he thought about the matter, then to agree with him and quickly change the subject. If the man said that he believed that a miracle had been performed, the student would say that he held the same opinion. But if the man said that he did not believe that a miracle had been performed, the student would endorse that opinion as well. The Christian later complained about this unprincipled advice to an official of the institution. The official had no comfort to give him. He informed the Christian that the professor’s advice simply represented the way to get along with people!

Certainly Paul was not a member of the faculty of that theological institution! He held the unpopular conviction that yes and no meant different things. He had the unusual viewpoint that it is our duty to please God rather than man. He could indeed be concessive and conciliatory to men when no principle was involved, when pleasing men would not be opposed to pleasing God. But where truth and principle were concerned, Paul was inflexible: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

 

Skilton, John H. Think on These Things: Bible Truths for Faith and Life. Philadelphia: Skilton House – Sowers, 1986.

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