Whom do we want to please?

1 Peter 2:9-17,

9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 

10 for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul. 

12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 

14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 

15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 

16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 

17 Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Oh, my goodness, these verses don’t leave much room for doubt or excuses, — a people for God’s own possession, abstain from fleshly lusts, keep your behavior excellent, submit to every human institution, honor all men.

I am sure many will find ways to water these verses down, but, for the sheep who know their Shepherd’s voice, these verses will be a welcoming call to snuggle a little closer to their Savior and Friend so that His light may shine more brightly from within them.

Dear friends, whom do you want to please, yourself or the Lord? I just learned someone is speaking extremely vile things about both my wife and myself. My wife told me about it this morning. This person has treated us badly for many years, but what has been said this time is very upsetting. I told my wife it was normal to be upset but we must not let the sun go down on our anger. We must forgive and love this person, regardless of what she says and does to hurt us.

If my wife and I wanted to please ourselves, we would most likely confront the person or take some sort of revenge. But we prefer to please the Lord, rather than ourselves. So we will do nothing but love and forgive the lady. 

I have said this so you will know I am not just blowing wind. I struggle through temptations every day; some days are worse than others. I know that at times it’s hard to take the way of escape God provides during every temptation. But again, whom do we want to please, ourselves or the Lord?

For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men,

1 Peter 2:15.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

P.S. After finishing this letter my wife suggested that we buy the lady who is raving behind our backs either a clothes dryer that matches her washer or a new washer and dryer set because her dryer is not working anymore. My wife hasn’t read this letter yet, but she instinctively wants to please the Lord, rather than exact retribution. 

If someone has a need we should supply it if we are able. That’s what Christians do, for we know it is more blessed to give than to receive. God loves a cheerful giver and we want to please Him, rather than ourselves.

People see our hearts by our actions. Do our actions reveal hearts dedicated to Jesus or ourselves? Do our enemies see self-centeredness or unconditional love in our actions? All that we do should be done in love. We are children of God, who, Himself, is love.

P.P.S. We bought the lady a new clothes dryer this afternoon. We found one that matched her washing machine. She was speechless and God was glorified.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org