A Daily Word from the Word for Wednesday, May 30, 2012
“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart fearing God.” – Colossians 3:22
Too many people try to please others rather than seeking to please God. There is nothing wrong with wanting to please other people; in fact, as children of God, we want to represent our Father in His rightful image. However, we get into trouble when we seek to please people out of selfish ambition, personal motives, or for personal gain.
Many times, we need to check our motives when pleasing others. How do you act toward your boss, your co-workers, your pastor, and others when you aren’t getting your way or when one of these people is mistreating you? The answer will tell you whether your motives are pure or not.
It is tragic to pin your accomplishments on the coattails of others. Some of these very same people, who build you up and put you on top, will tear you down in a heartbeat and leave you bleeding in the streets. Why? Because people are people, and most people rise and fall with their own egos and emotions; which in turn creates a ripple effect, putting those who put stock in a person on a nauseating rollercoaster ride.
I do not rise and fall on the words of people, and neither should you. I stay away from people who try to flatter me, as I am very wary of such folks. There is a big difference between a compliment and flattery. Complimenting someone is fine, as it denotes a sincere validation with no strings attached and no ulterior motive. Flattery, on the other hand, is a form manipulation in which someone is trying to build up personal collateral with you to cash in at a later time. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines flattery as “insincere or excessive praise.”
When people put too much stock in other people, or put people as their source rather than God, who is our Ultimate Source, then they lean dangerously close to falling in to this dead-end trap. But when you seek to please God first, and allow Him to direct your steps and make your crooked paths straight (Proverbs 16:9, Isaiah 42:16), then when He promotes you, no human being can take you down!
The Greek word for “eye-service” as used in this verse is “ophthalmodouleia” (of-thal-mod-oo-li-ah) which means “a side glance, jealously, slavery, bondage” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). This is deep my brothers and sisters. Don’t obey others out of self-serving motives because you despise them and are waiting for your opportunity to bring them down; or are jealous of them and want to obtain what they have; or from a slave mentality, where you look to this individual as the one who can set you free.
Rather, obey others “in sincerity of heart”, which comes from the Greek word “haplotes” (hap-lot-ace) meaning “a singleness of heart, sincerity without self-seeking”; and in “reverence” to God, which is the Greek meaning of the word “phobeo” (fob-eh-o) as used here (Strong’s).
Verses 23-24 bring this instruction full circle by concluding “and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Our reward comes from God, not people. God uses people to reward us; but ultimately, it is God who is our Source, our Strength, and our Reward.
And in everything you do, people of God, do it always with the utmost integrity, with a spirit of excellence, and knowing that God is always watching. Your work ethic and work product should be of the highest caliber, regardless whether people are present or not. If you work one way when people are there to witness, but in a much less careful manner in the absence of folks, then this is a good indicator of whom you seek to please.
I love what Joseph said to Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce Joseph in her husband’s absence. Potiphar’s wife had her eye on Joseph for a long time. Potiphar, who was an officer of Pharaoh, was going out of town for a while and left Joseph in charge of his household and all that he owned. Mrs. Potiphar saw her opportunity to finally get Joseph to sleep with her. She came to Joseph, but Joseph wouldn’t take the bait. When Potiphar’s wife said “Joseph, come on now, who will know?” Joseph’s reply was a powerful one. He responded “God will know” (Genesis 39).
My brothers and sisters, do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Whether you make masterpieces, music, or potato chips, make them worthy unto the Lord, because you are and He is.
Father, help us to be as mindful of You as you are of us. Help us to do everything for your glory and to your satisfaction. Instill within us a desire to please You first and foremost, and give us pure motives when pleasing others. Father, we pray what David prayed when he cried out “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-25). In Jesus Name, we thank you for changing us into Your image, with pure hearts and motives, for your glory. Amen and Amen.
Take Action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to be a God-pleaser, and allow God to lead you in your pleasing of people. Choose to do everything you do, including the most mundane and menial of tasks, for the glory of God. Choose to make God your Source for everything, including your promotions and your affirmations. And continue to fight the good fight of promoting God and allowing God to promote you; for God, Your Reward, has already given you the victory!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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Matthew is founder of HMD Ministries, and sits under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Don Lyon of Faith Center Ministries International in Rockford, Illinois, where he is a member.