Living for His glory
Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant! We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you. 2 Corinthians 10:12, 13 It is human nature that causes one to seek approval for their actions. This begins in childhood when as a child, you longed for the approval of your parents. Then as you grow older, you valued the opinions of your friends, colleagues, and employers. At times, the admiration and praise coming from others could become an obsession. When this behavior is not arrested such claim of importance could become your way to measure your worth as a person. From the text, the apostle Paul said that he was not in the ministry because he was striving to obtain the approval of people. All he does is because of God’s leading and he is bounded by the authority that comes only from God. Jesus warned His disciples of such attitude. He told them to always check their motives as to why they do good things for others. “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity!” (Matthew 6:1-2) Jesus told them that those who seek to gain the approval of others “have received all the reward they will ever get” (Matthew 6:3). Paul realized that approval and praise that are of value come from God. The affirmation “Well done!” that Jesus will say to those whose lives are lived for His glory alone should become your goal (Matthew 25:21). Paul, after he came to know Christ as His Lord and Savior, understood that God’s evaluation of his actions was all that mattered. He will be living his life for God’s glory alone. The accomplishments of his life before he came to know Christ he was once so proud of now where nothing compared for what he was doing for the expansion of the Kingdom of God. “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:7-8). Whose opinion matters to you most? Do you do things so you could gain the admiration and praise of people? It will be easy to become complacent with how you live your life when all that mattered to you is the assessment of the people around you. The approval that should matter most is the one that comes from God. The pleasure that your life gives to God should be your motivation to live righteously. “When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them” (2 Corinthians 10:18).