Choosing to Please God Above Man
By Jennifer Slattery
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of God.” Galatians 1:10
Standing up for truth is hard when one’s future is on the line. Years ago, I returned to school and was blind sighted by what I encountered. I wasn’t expecting my professors to adhere to a biblical worldview, but I wasn’t prepared for the opposition I faced. It seemed as if the textbook writers were intentionally trying to debunk Christianity’s truth claims.
Should I respond in ways that would earn an A, or stay true to my beliefs and risk failing?
After much prayer, I decided to explain the counterpoints for the theories taught and why I found naturalism unlikely.
I worried I’d anger the professor, the man with the authority to pass or fail me, but I was willing to take that risk. I couldn’t evade the issue. I had to stand by what I believed to be true, regardless the cost. Not just for my own integrity but for the sake of the other students, most of whom were considerably younger than me, and therefore vulnerable to deception.
Praise God I got an A, but even had I failed, I would’ve walked away content, knowing I’d put pleasing God above pleasing man.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, an ancient church planter named Paul had to make a similar decision. Judaizers in the church of Galatia were perverting the gospel. And Paul had a choice to make—ignore the issue and the potential for conflict, or take a clear stand for truth.
He’d already made his decision, back when he first surrendered to Jesus. From the moment of his conversion, he’d determined to live for truth, no matter the cost. His desire, whether with the Galatians or while enduring intense persecution, was to please Christ, not man. As followers of Jesus, we must be willing to make that same choice daily—to put obedience above all else.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, available for free (in ebook form) from Wholly Loved Ministries. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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Originally published Friday, 09 April 2021.