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Q4. Men-pleasers and God-pleasers

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Q4. (2 Corinthians 8:21-22) What is the balance between living our lives wholly before God without being men-pleasers, and doing what is right in the sight of men


Our first priority should be to please God. That having been said, we're also under the world's microscope. People watch Christians, hoping to see them fall. Just look at the trouble Cliff Richard is having at the moment. The more high profile you become in the Christian community, the more scrutiny you attract.

We're not going to win many people to Christ if they think we're all crazy, or incapable of enjoying life, or aloof, or elitists, or any other of the things many Christians are accused of being.

We've got to be seen to uphold the law of the land, be generous to others, do good works, and to love our fellow human beings.

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  • 1 month later...

I can say it no better than Dr. Ralph:

There is a time to live our lives before Christ, and not to please men (Acts 4:19; 5:29). But how we live reflects on the gospel and on our Lord. So when possible, we need to take whatever precautions are necessary to demonstrate that are we are acting above reproach – especially about such often abused matters as money, sex, and power. Pastors and church leaders who don't take extra precautions to protect themselves in these areas are asking for both temptation and accusations of wrongdoing. (notes)





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  • 8 months later...

Q4. (2 Corinthians 8:21-22) What is the balance between living our lives wholly before God without being men-pleasers, and doing what is right in the sight of men

The balance of living our lives wholly before God without being man pleaser's  is to do what the Holy Spirit has laid upon our hearts to do. Whether it is in being charitable with our money, our time or our ministry to the church, we should not worry about what other people, believers or not, should think of us. As long as we feel we are doing what the Lord has put in our hearts to do, we will feel joyful in doing it.   

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  • 8 years later...

Regarding church: I don't think that transparency is "man pleasing," but rather a good operating practice.

  • All books should be open. There should not be a "cash box" or "slush fund." 
  • It's wise to leave one's door ajar when talking to anyone of the opposite sex as well as children. Yes, in a better world we would not have to worry about such things, but in this horrible society it's important to protect one's own innocence.  
  • Power is the most difficult of the vice categories to monitor. I've seen pastors abuse their power over congregants. Of course, we have the final word -- we vote with our feet and leave congregations ruled by power-hungry pastors. I've also seen vestries/elders abuse their authority -- similarly, congregants should simply leave.
  • Sheep should always look for the most gentle, kind, honorable and protective shepherds.

Regarding personal lives: transparency in marriage, always; limited transparency in front of children/parents; no transparency in front of non-family members unless needed.

  • IN marriage, all finances should be discussed and agreed upon. No secret accounts ... no secret spending.
  • Obviously, adultery is wrong, but the appearance of adultery is also wrong. Do things as couples. If single, bring a third friend if you are having coffee with a married friend of the opposite sex, or meet in a very public place, like a busy restaurant or coffee shop. 
  • If you have social or political power, it must be hidden UNLESS there is a just and good reason for employing it, such as to protect someone/group or help other Christians.


Our primary allegiance should be to family which includes the generation above and below, one's parents and children. Our secondary allegiance is to either extended families if we have them, or to the church family. Neighbors and friends are third. Community fourth. Nation or state collectivity last. 

Political progressives like to invert this natural order of loyalty by making abstractions such as "community" or "neighborhood" the primary focus of our love and service. This is because they usually come from broken families and don't have that sense of protection and nurturing that Christian families should have. Some of the "communities" of which they speak don't even exist -- there are environmentalists but not a "green" community: homosexuals but not a "gay" community, etc. Obvious differences between us such as gender do not create community, just commonality. 

When we do what God asks us to do for the people right in front of us -- those with whom we make eye contact -- the silly abstract "communities" of liberals fall away. We learn to love others, not use them to promote a political agenda. We live simply so the people we know and love can have more and a better life. 


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