Words of Worth

A Path that Pleases

April 21, 2012

While it is true that a myriad of factors might motivate proper behavior (like a grandmother reminding us to “Be Pretty!”) our deepest reason to live a life above reproach is so that we may please Christ in all respects. This is far beyond a list of behaviors one should or shouldn’t do. In fact, 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds us, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” To bring God glory means we RE-present him to those around us whether we are at work, waiting in line at the grocery store, shopping at the mall and yes, even the hardest place of all sometimes – at home with family! When people see us, they should get a pretty good idea of what the character of God is like. This means evaluating our actions and conduct and really examining the driving force within us. Again, our guiding inspiration must come from the heart. Our hearts must be tuned toward pleasing and glorifying God.

You may have noticed that some people are just natural pleasers. Due to the way they are wired by God (fearfully and wonderfully made according to Psalm 139) these folks seem to live to please! Even if you are not a “pleaser” by nature, there is probably someone in your life you long to please and giving to them is not a burden but actually brings you great joy. How does this translate into pleasing God? Just imagine craving the pleasure of His approval. Imagine being so careful with His reputation that you are aware at all times you are reflecting His face. Depending on the way you were reared or your denominational background, your ideas about God might vary greatly but rest assured He longs for us to seek His face. Just like a wise parent sets boundaries for his children, God lovingly provides temporal boundaries and eternal ones for us.

It is not about Law, it’s all about AWE.
It is not about a list of rights and wrongs – it is about a list of gratitude and praise.
It is not about fear and restraint – it is about freedom and grace.
It is not about condemnation and rules – it is about conviction and relationship.

I once heard a dearly beloved pastor tell this story as he approached the latter years of his ministry: He said, “When I was a young man, I was convinced that life in God could be completed by keeping all the “THOU SHALT NOTS”. I spent all my time and energy making sure I didn’t do anything on that list of wrongful behaviors.” As he matured in his faith, however, he realized he was missing the mark and so decided to focus on all the “THOU SHALTS”. As he continued his story, he ruefully admitted that choice just made him tired. At this point, with great humility and with tears in his eyes, he shared with the crowd that he finally realized his attention should just be on “THOU.” How simple. How profound. Just “THOU”. (CT)

“You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
Psalm 16:11

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