Depending upon who you look for approval from, that is where you derive your standard of measure from. You want to please mom? You do it to her liking. You want to please man? You do it to their liking. You want to please God? You do it to His standard of Himself and how He loves Himself.
This is why we ought to be working for God and not man. We should care more about if we are doing things according to God’s word than if we are pleasing man. Sometimes, however, these things cross over into one another. The only way to describe this would be to use myself as an example.
So I’m going to show the distinctions between pleasing God and pleasing man, and the overlap between them as a massage therapist.
When it comes to pleasing God, I must ask myself a few questions: Am I doing this to the best of my ability? Am I sinning by: gossiping with my client, lusting after my client, or allowing my client to make inappropriate gestures and comments? Am I doing what my job requires of me, thus submitting to my authorities?
When it comes to pleasing man, I must ask myself: Am I addressing my clients needs? Am I providing the right amount of pressure they asked for? Am I communicating to them if something they ask for cannot be done or shouldn’t be done? Am I providing them with an excellent service that makes them want to come back?
When they overlap: Am I setting up guardrails to defend myself against lust and protect my client from immodesty? Am I staying up to date with the latest information to give to my client about massage and their condition?
As you read some of these questions you’ll see that truly all of these questions overlap in some way because my job is one that is a service to people. So the questions I must ask myself about doing my work for God are mostly about sin and excellence. Am I doing it in excellence? Am I seeing this work as work that I am doing because God is my boss, my master? The question I ask about pleasing man have to do with the service I provide for them.
When it comes to other areas of life we need to think through what the distinctions are, if we need to be pleasing God over man in this moment, or if pleasing man is what God desires in this moment. An example would be as a husband I must seek to please my wife. This is something God tells us to do. So the most God honoring thing would be to do as she desires, like taking her out on a date weekly. Does God require I take her out on a date? No. He never says that a man must date her weekly. But does God require I please her? Yes. And that means taking her out on a date weekly.
Which reminds me. I need to schedule that.
As Christians, we must never be afraid to hurt people’s feelings or offend people, but we must not seek to purposefully offend and hurt. However, if someone thinks that murdering children is okay, then we must speak the truth and not care how they will feel when we tell them how utterly wicked their beliefs are. If you don’t think that confronting people on sin is a good thing then look at Jesus’ example.
He’s a great example of not caring what others think. He’s a great example on pleasing God. He’s a great example on caring for and pleasing man.