Friday, July 24, 2009

Galatians 1 -- God or Man

As we open the letter to the church in Galatia we find Paul writing a very stern and convicting letter. The church has been struggling to keep focused on the Gospel and Paul is writing to them in order to call them back to Truth. In this opening chapter the stage is being set for the rest of the letter. Paul is not happy and after reading the letter the church in Galatia will not be happy. Right up front Paul is letting them know they will not be pleased with him, but that is okay because he works to please God, not humans.

This is a real powerful statement, as well as being very convicting. Most of us live to please people more than we realize. None of us like to have people upset with us, so we often do things to keep them happy. The struggle with this, and there are many, is who we are suppose to be concerned with pleasing. It is not humanity which brings about our right relationship with God. It is not another human being whom we will sit before at the end of times to face judgment. No we will sit before the God Almighty.

People pleasing is a no win game. First, it is impossible to please everyone. Second, you cannot please the same people all the time. The most significant reason is where our focus belongs. We are to please God more than people. This will mean friction and unhappy people. Paul comes short of saying I don't really care is people are unhappy as long as God is pleased with the effort. Once again we lose sight of who the church is about, people or God.

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