“But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts”
even so we speak, not as pleasing men,
Our purpose in speaking the gospel is to please God, not men. The gospel team never changed the message to accommodate the fancies of men. They never compromised or watered down the gospel.
A great issue in life is who we are trying to please. Do we please people or God? Some of us accommodate men, and others of us accommodate God. Paul’s gospel team was not out to win a popularity contest in Thessalonica.
If we live our lives, pleasing people, we have had it. If we give over any part of our lives to gain the approbation or attention of other Christians, we step out of the will of God.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
”Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God…” (1 Thessalonians 4:1).
Not pleasing means does not mean that we deliberately antagonize people. The implication is not that we should go out of our way to offend people. There is enough offense in the gospel without us adding our own personal affront.
but God who tests our hearts
God constantly scrutinizes our hearts. He seeks to find whether the master motive of ministry is to please God.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
God tests to approve those He entrusts with the gospel.
We need to learn to witness as unto the Lord, not people. Some Christians witness for the primary purpose of impressing other Christians. This is a way to get attention from the Christian herd.
There are certain occupational hazards in preaching the gospel. One of these hazards is criticism. If you have thin skin, you do not enter politics. If you have thin skin, don’t engage in ministry.
“…according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust” (1 Timothy 1:11).