Why Do You Do What You Do
Why Do you Do what you Do?
Why does Paul even bring up the issue of his motive? It is because he was being accused of having alterior motives driving his ministry goals and desires. But he is not afraid to lay the issue of the content of the gospel on the line. He makes it clear, very strongly so that anyone who preaches a gospel unlike what he preached is to be cursed. That is strong language and might be shocking to the readers. Paul is obviously condemning anyone that would distort or subvert the gospel. It is akin to John's words in Rev. 22:18-19.
Paul takes direct aim at those who would detract from his message by claiming hypocritical motives. His motives are pure, as he points out.
What motivates you and me? Why do we read the Bible, pray, attend church, give, teach a class, work in the nursery, go to work, etc.?
Some attend church because it is what you have always done. It is your routine. You don't even give thought to it, like putting on your clothes you just do it.
We all need to go through the exercise of asking ourselves "why do I do what I do?" and be fully honest with ourselves in the answering of that question.
THere are really only two possible answers to that question, every situation falls into one of those two.
For example, peer pressure, self esteem, political correctness are umbrella terms for pleasing men. Someone might lie in order to save face, or make himself look good to others. I was speaking to a man who owns a Harley softtail, brand new, with a really oversized tire on the rear. He wanted it so that his brother who bought a bike would be jealous of his. He spent more money in order to be one up on his brother. But we do the same thing in our own twisted ways. I
I would wear a cowboy hat everywhere but I would stick out to much. I don't want people to think, "look at that guy." You get the picture. we do what we do for a reason. What we must do is make sure we do what we do for the right reason.
Now To help us with this exercise notice that Paul steers us toward the answer we should have, but may not.
I. Do I seek to please men?
He uses the word peitho/persuade means to win anothers favour or approval. to convince by words or motives. to win them over. Acts 14:19 the one who accused Paul in lystra won the crowd over to his side and they ended up stoning Paul; Paul in Acts 18:4 tried to win over the Jews in the synagogue.
He also said, "Do I seek to please men?" In other words, does he make it his goal to accomodate others? the answer of course is no.
The question is this: are you trying to get others to think well of you? Do you want people to like you? even to the extent that you make decisions based on what others think rather than what you know is right?
This affects what you wear, what you eat, you don't want to 'rock the boat' so to speak. You want to have peace, at all costs thinking that is right. But that is wrong thinking. To some degree you must be concerned with what others think, like drinking alcohol or something like that.
Notice the warning in the last of the verse, "if I seek to please men, I am not a servant of Christ." a doulos is a slave, a servant whose sole desire is to please his master, to do the will of his master/owner. He doesn't care what others may think, because the only one whose opinion matters is his masters.
When I was in boot camp, I had drill instructors over our plattoon Now there were drill instructors all over the place with other platoons and companies. THe only one's I cared about were the DI's over me. I accidently knocked a DI from another platoon down and I thought I was a dead duck. But My DI protected me from his wrath. I paid, but not nearly as bad as I would have.
It is the same way here. If I am going to be concerned with what others think It shows who I am a slave to. 1 Tim. 6:1
1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
eg. Rom. 6:20 we were slaves to sin, slaves to Satan, he was our father. You are slaves to whom you obey or try to impress, Rom. 6:16ff
Thus, think of it this way, You are a slave to whomever you are trying to impress. If you are trying to impress man you are a slave to them.
When Verdi produced his first opera in Florence, the composer stood by himself in the shadows and kept his eye on the face of one man in the audience-the great Rossini. It mattered not to Verdi whether the people in the hall were cheering him or jeering him; all he wanted was a smile of approval from the master musician. So it was with Paul. He knew what it was to suffer for the Gospel, but the approval or disapproval of men did not move him. “Therefore also we have as our ambition... to be pleasing to Him” (2 Cor. 5:9, nasb). Paul wanted the approval of Christ.
The servant of God is constantly tempted to compromise in order to attract and please men. When D.L. Moody was preaching in England, a worker came to him on the platform and told him that a very important nobleman had come into the hall. “May the meeting be a blessing to him!” was Moody’s reply, and he preached just as before, without trying to impress anybody.
Hence, in our passage Paul makes clear that his motive for preaching the gospel was not to win them over, nor to have personal gain from his endeavors. Paul is not out to win a popularity contest. He is not out for political correctness. And neither should we be. He was not out to win approval from them, but he did want to win them to Christ.
II. . Do I please God?
This is the only right answer.
Paul has made the claim in other places that he is a slave of CHrist , Rom. 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ”. Read his statement in Gal. 1:15, 16a this shows us his aim and purpose: to reveal Christ in him.
Jesus even said He came not to do His own will but the will of the One who sent Him.
Pleasing God as your aim falls into line with what Paul said in Col. 3:17 “whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving to God and the Father by Him.”and 1 Cor. 10:31 “whether therefore you eat or drink , or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
We should be more concerned with what God thinks in any given situation, than with what man thinks.
As a husband I should be out to please my wife in any way possible, because God tells me to love her as Christ did the church. That doesn't mean I give her everything or that I always make her happy. Or vice versa. What it does mean is that a husband when I please God I will be a servant type of husband and that will win her favor, generally speaking. It means I won't abuse her, or make her my servant. Sharon may well serve me, and she does in many ways, but I must love her.
As a parent the bible doesn't demand that I please my children or make them happy. My goal must be to please God and in doing so I won't exasperate them, but rather train them and nurture them in the things of the Lord and will provide food and shelter and clothing, and other incidentals for them. But my goal cannot be to make them happy, but to please God as a parent, which at times might not make them so happy. Because God says we are to discipline our children. I don't know of a child yet who was really thrilled with the prospects of a spanking. But i the long run, which do you think will be happier: a child who is raised with good morals, discipline, a strong work ethic, training in a vocation, etc. who is able to provide for himself/herself, build a faimily and be productive in society; or a child who has been allowed to do whatever they want, never learn discipline fo appetites or desires and sits home without a job, lazy, always in need etc.
Paris Hilton is an example of the latter, but anyone of you might be an example of the former.
The end of the matter is who are you out to please?
Paul makes it clear that pleasing God as your foremost desire shows you really belong to HIm as a slave/servant. He owns you, 1 Cor. 6:19ff. THat is the way to true joy Ps. 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
As Joshua said to the people of Israel, after the conquest, as he gathered them in Shechem, "Choose you this day whom you will serve . . . as for me and my house we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15
You make the choice today for yourself.