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Approval of Men ...
Tuesday, June 11, 2019. We live in a time where the approval of anything humans do is measured by likes and the money an audience is willing to spend on something. We have come to the point where we hold good what is popular.
Of course, it is good to have everyone involved. Democracy means that all can express their opinion without fearing any negative sanctions or even violence. It also means that by choices of many preferences find their way into real developments. Some people will try to influence the masses - to stir the choices into a direction which is beneficial for them. It is an interesting interaction, this game of influence.
Clearly, we are happy when we are not part of a dictatorship, where some people impose their choices on others. In too many countries of this world today people have to live that way: under the oppression of a party or particular religious group. At the same time, we need to see that choices are not completely arbitrary. When we search for insight and truth, for example, it is the facts which are our reference. Let us think more about this … !
Goal and Purpose …
The apostle Paul has experienced the living God in a series of special experiences. He met Jesus, the risen Lord. And he has started to talk about the gospel, about the forgiveness and reconciliation which can be found in him, in Christ Jesus.
Now, Paul is talking about the foundation of his activity. Is he doing things to please men? What is his target? What is the reason and basis of his work? Paul writes:
10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal 1, 10)
The origin of Pauls activity is his community with God in father, son and holy spirit. This is also his goal. He has started to live in this community. And this community is the driving force of all he does.
It is not men, Paul wants to get approval from. Yes, of course he is trying to reach men. He is trying to tell everyone about the fantastic God, about the spirit of Jesus, about the resurrection, about the hope and peace which can be found in the living creator. But for doing so he does not need approval by anyone, since he has approval by the Lord.
Community of the Lord …
When you come to faith, you enter the community of the Lord. The bible describes the holy spirit to come into your life, into your body. Here you are, living in an intimate community with the eternal creator.
We are invited to learn to listen to God. We can read what is written in the biblical books, and these books are the indispensible source and basis of our faith. God has spoken here, and it is written. It is not surprising that several regimes in this world try to ban the bible from their country.
We are invited to listen to the Lord, and to search approval from the Lord. No one else should be our guide. Yes, we are asked and even commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are told to love and to be there for him.
But humans can never reach the purity and love of the eternal God. We are made to be with him, and to search him as the source and center and goal of our life. He is the one to approve what we do, and in Christ Jesus he has already given us his full love and commitment! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts