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 Christ. (Galatians 1:10, NIV)
Eleanor Roosevelt once said “You wouldn’t think so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
Jesus was not a people pleaser. Jesus was a people lover, a people teacher, even a people helper. Jesus, though, was never a people pleaser.
Jesus was the Son of God. People could either accept that or not. He gave sermons that challenged the status quo and even at one point went into the sacred Temple and started flipping tables. Flipping tables, people! You don’t impress people by flipping their money making tables in front of everyone.
Jesus understood that pleasing people was counterintuitive to the message of hope that he was sharing.
Our scripture reading today reminds us to ask ourselves: are we trying to win the approval of each other or are we trying to win God’s approval?
We can’t serve two masters. We can’t serve God and try to be servants of the whims and desires of our fellow community.
Sometimes, Jesus reminds us, we have to stand apart in order to stand up for the things we believe in.
That, however, is not always an easy thing to do.
Our friends, family, and neighbors give us immediate feedback. “What the heck are you doing,” they ask? “Stop being so self-righteous,” they might implore. If everyone is doing it or is ok with it, maybe you’re the problem?
God, however, doesn’t always give immediate feedback. In fact, sometimes standing with God means we are the only ones doing so.
The Gospel is clear that Jesus Christ is the key to our salvation. No purchase, relationship, statements, or other worldly sentiment can stand in the place of our faith in and our faith of Jesus Christ.
I am not sure if you’ve been feeling as though you have been unintentionally or intentionally pleasing people and seeking the approval of other people in your life.
I would like to invite you to take some time this week to better understand how you can better serve God rather than your tribe, family, friends, coworkers, etc. It might mean you stand apart from them but it doesn’t mean you aren’t still a community. We all can be one body of Christ without trying to impress each other or pander to each other’s fears, desires, or wants.
I pray you find the necessary words or actions to stand up for your own wants and needs this week rather than caving in the expectations of everyone around you. God doesn’t expect much but our undivided faithfulness and fearful attention.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
We are meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.
Join us on the Second Sunday of every month for good food and good fellowship.
Military Appreciation Breakfast
Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:
Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciation for your service.
United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:
Third Thursday of every month: March 17, April 21, May 19.
United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:
*Postponed Until Further Notice
Tuesday: 8-12 am
Wednesday: 8-11 am
Thursday: 8-11 am
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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