Scripture: Galatians 1.10
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.

Reflection: What Slavery We Choose :: Throwback Thursday
By Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Consider what slavery you choose, when you make yourselves the servants of every person, whose censures you fear, and whose approbation you are ambitious of. “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.” Do not needlessly enthral yourselves.

What a task have people-pleasers! They have as many masters as beholders! No wonder it takes them from the service of God. For the “friendship of the world is enmity to God” and “anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4.4)

They cannot serve two masters, God and the world. You know people will condemn you, if you be true to God. If, therefore, you must have the favor of people, you must take it alone without God’s favor.

A people-pleaser cannot be true to God because he is a servant to the enemies of his service to God. The wind of a person’s mouth will drive him about as the chaff—from any duty, and to any sin.

How servile a person is a people-pleaser! How many masters he has, and how mean ones! It perverts the course of your hearts and lives, and turns all from God to this unprofitable way.

Remember what a pitiful reward you seek. Jesus said, concerning hypocrites and people-pleasers, “they have their reward.” O miserable reward! The thought and breath of mortal people! Instead of God—instead of Heaven—this is their reward!

Their happiness will be to lie in hell, and remember that they were well spoken of on earth—that once they were counted religious, learned, wise, or honorable, and to remember that they preferred this reward before everlasting happiness with Christ!

If this is not gain, your labor is all lost, which you lay out in hunting for applause. If this is enough to spend your time for, and to neglect your God for, and to lose your souls for, rejoice then in the hypocrite’s reward.

*Abridged and language updated from Directions against Idolizing Man.

Prayer: The Request for Presence
Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. — Psalm 43.3

– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Full prayer available online and in print.

Today’s Readings
Proverbs 2 (Listen – 1:53)
Galatians 1 (Listen – 3:05)