As a young believer, I attended a Christian college where much of my foundation was laid. I learned about who God really was, not what the world said. I took in the rich teaching at chapel services where I heard people from all over the world sharing their love and stories of God’s goodness and mercies.
One of the things I didn’t fully understand as a young believer was the verse that was part of the college seal. First Thessalonians 2:4 says, On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.
I had grown up striving to please all people I came in contact with daily. My parents, brother, grandparents, other family members, classmates, whomever, including strangers. Even when it was detrimental to me and my soul, I was determined to make everyone happy. In the process, I made myself fearful, anxious, even sick. I had not learned how to live out the last half of 1 Thessalonians 2:4, We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. I had not gone through counseling at this point. I didn’t have healthy boundaries or the understanding of how to forgive and receive mercy and grace from others.
God tells us that He can see our hearts, He looks at what is inside not outside of us and judges us on those things (1 Samuel 16:7). He does not care if we have the right clothes, houses, or cars. Our hearts are what matter. Now, over twenty-five years later in my Faith journey, hours of counseling, healing, honesty, and difficult truth-telling, I can see the wisdom of seeking to please God.
O Best Beloved, do you understand the freedom of seeking to please God only? We are released from all the struggles of trying to please finite creatures. Mankind is fickle. We choose to love today and hate tomorrow, based on our every changing emotions. God is faithful, ever constant, immovable. We can choose to seek His approval because He is worth pleasing. Let us be people who seek to please the God of the Universe who loves us forever.