We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. (Rom 15:1 NIV)
Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Cor 10:32-33, emphasis added)
Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. 4 Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. (Phil 2:3-4 CEB)
We’re instructed by God’s Word to watch out for what is best for others and pleasing to others. We’re also urged to avoid selfishness and encouraged to care for each other. That’s a tall order, right? The apostle Paul said that he pleased all men! Wow, he is a righteous example to us all.
So why did Paul ‘please all men’? He did it so that many people would be saved. By his pleasing and caring behavior toward others, he won many, many people to the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of those people accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Paul didn’t do it in order to be a man-pleaser but in order to win souls to the Kingdom of God. His motivation was pleasing in God’s sight.
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. (Gal 1:10)
. . . not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart . . . (Eph 6:6)
Our assignment as followers and servants of Jesus Christ is to please God first, but also to demonstrate God’s love to all people. That means doing top-notch work in our jobs (even those who are self-employed). It also means finding ways to cooperate kindly with our earthly neighbors whether we have a house, condo, apartment, or a tent.
We also, as servants of Jesus, represent Him in our families, with our friends and within our communities and churches. As ambassadors for God’s Kingdom, we have the honor and privilege of being ‘the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.’ (2 Cor 2:15) May our conduct and our conversation be as a pleasant perfume to the lost and the hurting as well as to the Lord Jesus. Praise the Lord!