“At the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him (Jesus). But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the Synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than praise from God.” -John 12:42-43
A popular Christian author relates how he once visited a young woman who was confined to a padded cell and was in a state of catatonic shock. She was a Christian and had been raised in a Christian family, but her mother had ceaselessly pushed her to be the most popular, beautiful and successful girl in school.
She became head cheerleader, homecoming queen, and later a model. But the pressure to excel became too great and she had a complete mental collapse.
After she was eventually released from the hospital, she went back into the same artificial environment. Again, she found she could not cope. She finally committed suicide.
The author relates she had summed up her frustration when she told him one day, “I don’t care what it is I do, it never satisfies my mother.”
Who are you trying to please, human beings or God? The Scripture is plain that we will end up much like this young girl in committing, if not physical suicide, then mental, emotional or spiritual suicide.
Our goal should be to please God above all because only a life centered on the love and power of Jesus Christ has real purpose. Additionally, He loves us so much His mercy and grace helps make up for our mistakes and limitations so we don’t have to worry about His acceptance of us.
The same Holy Spirit that filled and empowered the Apostles is available to each of us so we can declare with them, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
Doesn’t it just make sense to invest in the eternal glory of God by trusting in Jesus rather than the fake, fleeting and fickle glory of this temporary world? Nothing is wrong with achieving – being and doing our best – as long as our goal is to bring God glory. The ice just gets too thin when our focus turns to the world’s approval; it breaks every time and we end up drowning.