“You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men”
1 Corinthians 7:23 (ESV)
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
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All through the ministry of Paul, he faced significant opposition, beatings, and threats to his life because he was not ashamed or afraid to proclaim the true Gospel of CHRIST. We see in Galatians 1:10, Paul emphasizes that his paramount obligation was to please GOD. Paul was saying that he could not direct his ministry towards pleasing man and at the same time direct it towards pleasing GOD. If Paul’s motivation was to first please man, then he was not a bondservant of CHRIST.
These Scriptures raise very important questions for all Christians to ponder. Let’s ask ourselves these questions:
· Do we spend our lives trying to please everybody?
· What motivates our habitual practices and our lifestyles?
· Are we motivated by the desire to obtain approval of men or the approval of GOD?
· What are we willing to do to gain the applause of Heaven rather than the applause of men?
As we ponder these questions, let’s take a closer look at 1 Corinthians 7:23 (ESV):
“You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.”
CHRIST gave HIS life as a ransom for us. HE alone paid the price. We belong to HIM and are accountable to HIM foremost. We are HIS bondservants. We are subject to the rule and reign of CHRIST, our MASTER. True GOD-pleasers are the true bondservants of CHRIST. On the other hand, we become men-pleasers when we allow human opinions and worldly systems to rule over us.
A bondservant of CHRIST cannot be a bondservant of men. So also, a man pleaser cannot please GOD. In Luke 16:15, JESUS said:
“You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
This means that, more often than not, what is honored by man or is the popular opinion is evil in GOD’s sight. Now that we know this, what should we do?
How do we ensure that pleasing GOD always remains the primary motive in all we do?
May GOD grant us the boldness in seeking to please HIM above all others regardless of the circumstances or challenges we face. Amen!
*All Scriptures are in the New King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
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