Pleasing God? Or People?

2015 002 How much of life is lived with the goal of pleasing others? I might warn you, it’s a dangerous game. I’ve struggled with this goal. And when I fail to gain approval, or heaven forbid receive disapproval, I am consumed with regret. What might I have done differently? I am so grateful of the Bible’s teaching that God loves me INSPITE of my inability to be perfect; He loves me regardless of my shortcomings.
Psychologists say this stems from a lack of self-worth from childhood. I’m not sure I believe that. The oldest of five, from babysitting to housework, I did it all and received a fair amount of praise from my parents. As an adult, from processing mountains of computer information to managing a medical clinic, I’ve been successful. Therefore, is it possible that God has placed within the human heart the desire to please Him, but we get sidetracked striving to please others around us? I’ve found a good example in the man Daniel and his story in our Bible.
When a teenager, Daniel was captured by invading forces and taken from his homeland in Jerusalem. Babylon’s king Nebuchadnezzar desired all the smart, strong, and handsome Hebrew youth be trained in his language and culture so they could serve him. Daniel and three of his friends excelled in every way and eventually, after deliverance from a fiery furnace, were promoted to positions of leadership. Daniel’s ability to explain mysterious dreams impressed more than one king in Babylon. “Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm.” (Daniel 6:3)
Yet, while doing right, Daniel didn’t please everyone. Jealousy reared its ugly head as other governors tried to find fault with him, but no fault could be found in Daniel’s leadership. “Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” (6:5) Daniel’s faithful adherence to the teachings of his God, even his pattern of prayer was so constant, they would have to design a way to trap him within his faith. And they did.
The perfect plan was to condemn anyone to the lion’s den if they dared to petition any other god (other than King Darius) for 30 days. So the decree was established and STILL Daniel knelt and prayed to his God. Soon, the accusers assembled before the king with a charge against Daniel and a broken hearted king commanded Daniel cast into the lion’s den. A sleepless night lay ahead for the king because he cared for his friend Daniel. Hear his call “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you serve continually been able to deliver you from the lions?” (6:20)
If you are familiar with the story, you know God DID deliver Daniel. Even though Daniel did not please all the people all the time, he remained faithful (doing the right thing) and in the end, God established Daniel. We may walk through some periods of fiery trials; times when people don’t approve, but as we remain faithful to God, He will stand for us. If you are walking through a tough time, remain faithful to God’s precepts and strive to please Him first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *