Something to think about
As a teenager, I really took to heart this verse from Galatians, along with 2 Timothy 3:12, which taught me that ‘all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’.
So I shared my faith whether people wanted to hear it or not; I expressed controversial opinions without much pastoral sensitivity; I wasn’t afraid to tell others what God thought of their lifestyle choices. Negative feedback provided evidence that I was indeed living a godly life; I wouldn’t engage with any criticism of my methods. I was happy to be a people non-pleaser, if it mean that I was pleasing Christ.
That’s a big ‘if’, though.
Over the years, I hope I have learned that Christ is not best served by offensiveness or judgementalism, and that irritating people is not the same as persecution! Instead, accountability, humility, and openness to the input of wise friends, is always healthy and right.
Living for God’s approval rather than human acclaim doesn’t mean setting ourselves up against other people. In fact, loving our neighbour is pretty high up the list of things that please God!