Is this pleasing to God?
(James Smith, "The Proper Aim of a Christian's Life" 1856)
"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus, to do this more and more!" 1 Thessalonians 4:1
In every place,
in every circumstance,
in every undertaking —
the Christian should ask, "Is this pleasing to God?"
God is pleased or displeased . . .
with every thought we think,
with every word we speak,
with every action we perform,
with every emotion we feel.
Perhaps we do not sufficiently realize this. We think, speak, feel, and act — without ever considering whether we are pleasing God, or not. But this ought not to be, for He . . .
gave us our being,
redeemed us from sin and damnation,
called us by His grace, and
has blessed us with innumerable and interminable blessings —
and all that we may glorify Him! And how can we glorify Him — but by habitually aiming to please Him? If we forget or lose sight of this — we forget and lose sight of the principal end of our being, and well-being.
For instance, the manner in which I employ my spare time — the amount of time I give to recreation or entertainment. Many Christians seem never to think whether the way in which they spend their time, is pleasing to God or not. If they did, would they ever go to some entertainments, or indulge in certain pleasures? Would the world have so much of their time, and the prayer-closet so little? How much time is wasted in frivolous ways, which are neither conducive to the health of the body, nor calculated to promote the spirituality of the mind.
Also, how many squander their money on dress, ornaments, or delicacies for the body — who never relieve the poor, or contribute to establish God's cause in the world; or if they do so at all, it is not in due proportion to their means. The pence are given to the Lord — the pounds are spent in the gratification of SELF!
If, when I am going to lay out money in ornaments or dress, or indulgences for the table, I was to ask, "Is this pleasing to God?" — would it not check my lavish expenditure? Would it not often change the course in which my money flows?
"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way." Colossians 1:10
My object in everything I do — should be to please God. The one grand end of my life, the grand thing I am to aim at — is to please my Heavenly Father. I have . . .
nothing to dread, but His frown,
nothing to fear, but His displeasure,
nothing to seek, but His approbation.
If my Heavenly Father is pleased with me — it is enough.
What a comfort it is to know that my God is easily pleased — that it is not the amount of what I do — but the motive from which I do it, which He looks at! He is pleased with my poorest performances, with my most imperfect services, with only a cup of cold water given to one of His children — if my object is to please Him!
In everything I do, I should ask, "Is this pleasing to God?" If so, all is well.
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do — do it all for the glory of God!" 1 Corinthians 10:31. This is the rule — and we should walk by it.