Last time Paul said that if he, an angel, or any other man preaches another Gospel than the true Gospel of Christ let him be cursed.
Who are you trying to please?
Who do you work for?
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
What do you think about the question Paul asked espanolcialis.net? Is he trying to persuade man or God? The word persuade means gain the approval or win favor. So it seems obvious based on the previous verses that Paul isn’t trying to win the favor of men or tell them what they want to hear. In the previous verses he said if any man, or himself, or an angel preach a different Gospel that they should be cursed. Those are pretty strong words going out to many churches in Galatia.
Paul is not interested in telling men what they want to hear. Paul is more concerned with pleasing God in the sense of preaching the truth and to deliver the message he was commissioned to deliver. I have found that in the ministry it is very easy to get caught up in pleasing men first or trying to tailor a message to an audience in order to keep that audience.
Many pastors and preachers have changed their message when worried about a wealthy family leaving the church. I have known pastors who started off preaching and teaching the truth, but when their church began to grow became more concerned with pleasing man than pleasing God. The numbers, the money, the fame is intoxicating.
First let me say that the Gospel is offensive. The Gospel says that everyone is a sinner and is in need of being rescued. It says that you can’t save yourself. It says that you have to rely on what Jesus did for you in order to be saved. That is hard for some to take. Man wants to do something. Man always wants to add some rule or regulation so that he has a part in his own salvation. Those that came behind Paul added to the Gospel by imposing certain rules and regulations. The problem is that when we add to the cross we are saying that what Christ did for us wasn’t sufficient. We are saying that God’s grace isn’t enough. We are saying we must be in control, versus God being in control. When you add to grace it stops being grace.
From a practical sense Paul had a solution to the problem of trying to please men instead of God. Paul saw himself as a servant of Christ. This word means a bond slave. One willing to serve another as a slave. Paul doesn’t see his life as being his own, but instead sees his life as belonging to Christ.
Jesus said you can’t serve two masters. Paul understood this very well. We can’t serve men and God. We have to pick one. Paul knows that if he pleases God, then ultimately men will benefit. He knows if he preaches the Gospel and doesn’t distort it, men will truly be saved and rescued. Paul sees things from an eternal perspective. We need to see things the same way. When we please men it is temporary, but it can awful eternal consequences. When we please God it is eternal, and we see wonderful eternal benefits.
There is another practical application here. If you try to please man you will never succeed. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you say or do. If you try to please that person then you will stop pleasing the other. There is something very liberating when I try to please God. One I can focus on him and him alone. He is the only one I have to please. He doesn’t change his mind. He doesn’t change the rules. He doesn’t say that pleased me yesterday but not today. There are 7 billion people in the world and only one God.
Sometimes telling people the truth is hard. Sometimes it is easier to please man. Next time you find yourself in the middle, ask yourself…who are you serving? Who are you trying to please? God or man. The Bible says that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. You can’t serve two masters.