Playing to the audience - Hope 103.2

Playing to the audience

By David ReayFriday 16 Sep 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Galatians 1:10

10 Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NRSV)

Some counsellors employ a phrase called, “Who is in your grandstand?” Which is a way of asking, who is looking on as you live your life? Or more pertinently, who are you trying to please?

Many of us speak and act in such a way so as to win the applause of those whose opinion matters to us. We may not be aware of it, but we may be imagining certain people in the grandstand looking on as we run our life circuits. We don’t want to let them down and this desire shapes how we live. Such people could include parents, teachers, church leaders, spouses. We perform many twists and turns in order to have them rise up in their seats and cheer us on.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with seeking to please people. Nothing wrong with seeking to live up to good examples set to us by others. Problems arise when these expectations are unreasonable, when they cause us to shape and reshape our lives in order to conform to them. We win applause but lose our very selves in the process.

Paul was always intent on winning God’s approval above all. Trying to please his audience was a recipe for distorting his message. Best to see God in our grandstand. Otherwise we might end up running the wrong race.

David Reay