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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.


Verse 9 transitions from assurance to forewarning.

9 Therefore

Having such “confidence” in verse 8, Christians focus on pleasing their Lord. The “therefore” gives the upshot of the first eight verses in verses 9 and 10. This is the punch line of the passage. It is a landmark of which every believer should take note.

we make it our aim,

Every Christian should have an “aim” in life. This requires self-orientation to the will of God. The word “aim” means to aspire. It comes from two Greek words: to love horizontally and honor. It is right to love what is honorable (Ro 15:20; 1 Th 4:11).

whether present or absent,

Whether Christians find themselves at the coming of the Lord or not, they want to please Him.

to be well pleasing to Him.

The aim of every believer should be to live his or her life in a way that is acceptable to God (Ga 1:10; Co 1:10).


Our life’s ambition should be to please the Lord in everything we do.


There is a noble incentive. God’s approval should be our motivation. Our passion in life should be to please the Lord (1 Th 2:4). We do not want Him to frown on us. We want Him to be proud of us.

If pleasing the Lord displeases other people, that is irrelevant. The most important dynamic in life is to have the Lord smile on what we do (Pr 16:8; 2 Ti 2:3,4).

Selfish ambition is sinful (Jer 45:5). However, there is proper ambition, the desire to be “well pleasing” to the Lord. Our highest objective to which we could aspire is to please God (Ro 14:7-8). Every Christian’s aim or goal should be to please the Lord. We love Him because He first loved us; we serve Him because He first served us.