If you’re a true follower of Jesus Christ you’ll almost certainly have decisions that you know you need to make in the next few days, weeks or months that will be unpopular with people in your life. Maybe it’s a decision that looks foolish in the world’s eyes and you know people will think you’ve lost the plot. Or, perhaps the Holy Spirit is prompting you to speak truth into a situation, at the risk of offending those involved.
I recently heard somebody quote a famous writer who said “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
You’ve probably realised by now that following Jesus will never be the popular thing to do. Jesus Himself made this very clear in Matthew 7:14 when he said ‘narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it’, and in Matthew 10:22 ‘You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved’.
The question for you and I when we have unpopular decisions to make is this: whose opinion is the most important to me?
I remember when my eyes were first opened up to what the apostle Paul was really saying in today’s scripture, particularly the last part – ‘If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.’ Do you see it? Paul’s saying that it’s impossible to be a Christian and be seeking to please people at the same time. We have to choose - either one or the other - and ‘I want to do both’ isn’t an option!
It’s important to remember that as far as we’re able, we’re called to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), so this scripture isn’t a licence to upset others unnecessarily. It is, however, a strong reminder that God’s opinion is what really counts, and that it’s primarily His approval that we should be seeking in any and every decision.
My prayer for you today is that you’d be able to stand firmly against the fear of man, and that you’d be more concerned about what God thinks than what anybody else thinks.
Prayer: Father, I thank You that I’m Your child and that You love me so dearly. I’m sorry for the times when I haven’t obeyed Your voice, because I’ve been more afraid of what people think of me than what You think of me. I ask that You would help me to seek Your approval over and above the opinions of others, whilst still loving, respecting and honouring them. I ask You now to fill me with Your precious Holy Spirit, so that I might have the power I need to boldly and confidently live for You on this earth. Thank You for speaking to me today, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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