Saturday, June 14, 2014

On Being a People Pleaser

Question: Would you rather be accepted by God or by man?

I personally have a quick answer, then I have a thought out
answer to this question.

Think about it.  This is a very deep question, although one may quickly respond, "God.", if you think through it, you MAY discover that your answer and your reality are vastly different.

Anyhow, this entry comes from the overflow of my personal time in the Bible.  These are the thoughts that I have been musing on for the last couple of days.

Scripture:
"Yet at the same time many even among the leaders (Jewish leaders) believed in him.  BUT because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for FEAR they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God."
-John 12:42-43

Now, before you decide to do something radical to prove that you will stand with God, Jesus says,

"Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
If anyone hears my words but does not KEEP them, I do NOT judge that person.  For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.  There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.  For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.  I know that his command leads to eternal life.  So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."
-Jesus, John 12:44-50

Cultural terminology
The word "praise" (Gk. doxa-glory,praise,accpetance) in this context  = "acceptance" in our context

Thought Questions:
1. Would you rather be accepted by man/God?
2. What if your obedience to God meant that man would fall away from God? Should you then compromise your faith to make God more acceptable to man?
3. Does God need you to be accepted by man so that those men may find God more acceptable?

Examples that the Church struggles with...
1. Homosexuality (not the people, but the action).  The Bible CLEARLY teaches that the sexually immoral, those who practice sexual immorality (unashamedly live a lifestyle of this), will NOT dwell with God in His kingdom.  Yet, many churches have fallen into the temptation of wanting to be palatable to the world (which is this whole acceptance of man rather than standing with God).  They have turned their backs on what God CLEARLY says, and turned toward the praise of their fellow man.
2. Pluralism.  The Bible also clearly teaches that we are not have ANY other gods alongside the Lord.  He is GOD, He ALONE is God.  This whole accept Islam garbage....  Yes, love the people BUT know that they are in darkness & that Allah is NOT God.  He is a false god, most likely a demon that they are following.  The Bible is clear on this, for the Quran's version of God & the God of the Bible are VASTLY different.  So, will you say that Islam is a road to God, as culture teaches?  Or will you say, "No.  Jesus is Lord and no other." and risk being rejected by man and seen as a nut job?

What I am NOT saying
I am not saying that we need to prove ourselves by making radical stances.  For that is of NO benefit. Those "Post this if you love Jesus, don't post if you hate Jesus" stuff on Facebook is NOT always the best example of seeking favor with God over favor with man.

Rather, when the issue comes up, you stand with Jesus against the philosophy of the world.  You have a firm confidence in what you believe, regardless of the response of others.  You stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone with Jesus.  And you wrap this stand with gentleness and love for people.

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