People pleasers are a pain! Ingratiating themselves with others to curry favour. Flattering others to win approval. Saying what they think you want to hear, even if it’s a lie. If that’s you, stop it! Live for an audience of One – be a God pleaser.
In today’s reading Paul has exhorted us to be neighbour pleasers, a very different thing to people pleasers! Why? Because of the why! Please neighbours for their good and to build them up. People pleasers do it ultimately to please themselves, to make you like them more. Neighbour pleasers do it so that their friend is built up and gets closer to God. We will get to the how later. Let’s look at the why and what.
Paul wants our neighbours not to stumble (14:13,20,21), not to be torn down 14:20 or damaged 14:15. Paul does all things for all men, to win some; to do them good by teaching the gospel and building them up in the faith. Like all good preachers Paul gives us the why – why should we work hard to please neighbours other than to see them built up?
- Because Jesus did not please himself – He lived to please the Father and take on the reproach of people on the cross. In doing so He fulfilled Psalm 69:9, showing us that the OT Scriptures are useful for our encouragement, build endurance and are all about pointing to Jesus.
- Because Jesus is the way to united worship, harmony and welcoming one another. It never ceases to amaze, how the church is made up of young and old, black and white, rich and poor, from every tribe and tongue and every walk of life. Many would never have given the time of day to one another, except that Jesus has made us brothers and sisters in Him.
- Because Jesus welcomed you for God’s glory, v.7. It glorified God when Jesus won your heart and rescued you from your sin. We want those around us to find that too.
- Because Christ is a servant, v.8-13. Jesus laid down the glory of the right hand of the Father to become a servant to win Jews and Gentiles to himself and make a new people of God.
Paul wants our hope to be overflowing. Hope is a future thing. Paul wants us to overflow with hope for the future. Notice, in v.13, how faith (believing) leads to joy and peace and all three of them lead to abounding in hope. All four of them come from the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit cause us to abound in faith, joy, peace and hope so we can serve our neighbours, families and friends and draw them into relationship with you. Amen