As followers of Christ we want to please God in all that we do. However, the enemy cleverly provides multiple distractions, ensuring that pleasing God remains one of the greatest challenges in our walk of faith. We may have the best intentions, but our selfish desires and bad habits often prevent us from achieving our goal.
While it’s essential to our walk of faith and while God wants us to take it seriously, pleasing God is not an easy task. We’re bombarded daily by advertisements and marketing ploys tempting us to chase after worldly things that pull us away from a closer life with God. It seems that when we decide to buckle down and make it a priority to live more of a godly life, temptations arise to pull us away from where God wants us.
We want to please God. We want to live so that others see a difference. We want to be the best servants of Christ we can be. Still, it isn’t easy. Let’s consider three areas of our lives where we can be challenged to live in ways that please the Lord.
Pleasing God at Home
With all of life’s daily demands, how can we develop a greater desire to please God at home? This can be challenging as we seek to communicate effectively with a parent, spouse, child, or roommate. Often the people we live with are the ones who see our true colors as we deal with everyday life. Do we strive to show love in our home? Are we striving to be the best husband, wife, parent, child, or roommate?
The apostle Paul offered sound—and inspired—advice in Romans 12:9, 10. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” While it’s important to verbally express love to our families, we also need to show our love in action and treat them in loving ways.
One way to build a foundation of faith that expresses itself in love is to begin each day with quiet time before God. Spending time regularly reading God’s Word and in prayer gives us the strength and discipline to love others as Christ has loved us. There is no better way to start the day than to spend time with God. And no better way to cultivate a heart of love for our families.
Pleasing God at Work
For many of us the workplace is a mission field. We’re surrounded by coworkers who don’t know Jesus. One of the most significant things we can do in such situations is to make it our mission to live each day in ways that shine the light of Christ into peoples’ dark worlds.
In Colossians 4:5, 6 Paul offered some encouraging words to believers who live and work among unbelievers. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” While it’s important to find ways to share our faith through conversation, it’s also important to find ways to share hope and encouragement by helping those around us do things well. When we find ways to encourage coworkers through a smile, a kind word, simple conversations about their lives, and even by helping with work-related tasks when we can, we’re showing them Christ’s love and compassion in ways that can eventually lead them to wonder why we are different. This, in turn, can present opportunities to share our faith. And God will be pleased.
Pleasing God at School
While many of us are currently in the work place, many others are currently enrolled in high school, college, or graduate school. It’s important that Christians in academic environments not only find ways to share their faith with classmates and teachers, but that they stand strong and avoid buying into ideas and philosophies that run counter to the Word of God. While Christian students will want to give God their best in the classroom, they must not allow their education to keep them from growing in their faith. Here, too, it’s vital that Christian students feed their souls with God’s Word and allow his Spirit to lead and guide them in order to avoid the pitfalls of the world. Connecting with a local church, a campus ministry, or a small group can provide the accountability needed to stay strong and faithful and to please the Lord.
As we seek to please God in all we do, Satan will do all he can to cause us to lose focus. To please God we must obey his Word, following his directive to become more like him instead of conforming to the world around us. Here is where we embrace Paul’s command: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1, 2).
To be honest, we’ll likely have days when pleasing God is the last thing on our minds. Sometimes we’ll grow weary of trying to live a godly life and we’ll feel like giving up. We’ll lose our motivation and feel worn down.
When those days come, take encouragement from the apostle Peter who wrote, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8, 9).
Zach Wood is a Production Coordinator at Corporate Graphics Commercial in North Mankato, Minnesota. He lives in Mankato with his wife and two daughters.