By Theodore Epp
As Paul prayed for the Colossians and their walk, or way of life, he did not pray that it might be pleasing to man but to God. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul said of himself, "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (1:10). Of course, when we live in a way that pleases God, many people will also be pleased by the way we live. But our focus of attention should be on pleasing God rather than people.
Living in a way that pleases God cannot be done in one's own strength. It is only by means of the indwelling Christ that the believer can exhibit the fruit of the Spirit and have a walk that pleases the Lord.
Although the believer seeks primarily to please God, not people, we must keep these truths in balance. We will not be successful in reaching others with the Gospel if we constantly displease them by our attitudes and actions. But above all, we must be true to God Himself in all that we do. As Paul sought to evangelize the lost, he was very careful not to unnecessarily offend those he was endeavoring to reach. Paul summed up this aspect of his life in this way: "Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved" (1 Cor. 10:33).
"For I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29).