Re:Verse passage – Galatians 1:1-10 (day four)

For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

We get a glimpse into Paul’s inner life here. Throughout the letter to the Galatians, Paul is clarifying and defending the freedom we have in Christ. He does this so fervently because he knew better than anyone the bondage that came with a life consumed with the law and pleasing men. While he was advancing in his career and accruing power, he was also sinking further under the weight of his own sin. When Christ broke those chains in his life, he was determined that he would never be bound by the things of the world again.

Paul asserts here that when we seek the favor of men, and spend our life striving to please others before pleasing God, we add constraints to our lives rather than living in the perfect freedom of the gospel. The more we do this, the more the gospel becomes obscured in our hearts, until we’re living by a different gospel, which is really no gospel at all, as Paul would say.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a recovering people-pleaser. When I look at my life, though, Paul is right. When I try to please other people and get the approval of men, my life quickly becomes constrained and heavy with sin. When I give all that up and pursue only God’s approval, I can enjoy the perfect freedom of Christ. Let us be determined to keep hold of the freedom we have in Jesus.

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