We have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to God.

2 Corinthians 5: 9

Some people are known for their drive to please others, and this can be positional, for it is generally thought to be the role of middle children to fly beneath the radar of life; it can also be an adopted strategy that allows someone to remain relatively unobserved. There is nothing essentially wrong with being this sort of person; however, when being pleasing is a way of acting that is forced, it tends to cause the person who is trying to pull off being the pleaser a lot of stress and strain. The truth is that, as humans, we just aren’t all that pleasing that much of the time.

Yet, Paul is a very practical person; he says the sorts of things that are possible; and he tells us to do things that are, in fact, doable. When Paul says that it is his ambition to be pleasing to God, he means anything but flying beneath the radar of life. We are to be engaged in the messiest aspects of people’s worlds, we are to live in the harshest climates that earth can provide, and we are to get squarely in the face of evil as it tries to control the lives of the people that God dearly loves. The Lord has a concept of what is pleasing to Him that would not make a conflict adverse person very comfortable; however, God does not promise us comfort in this world, and He doesn’t even suggest that by following His will our lives will be made easier.

The Lord, my God, who cares greatly about every second of my life, is pleased with me because I have chosen Him as my Lord and Savior. Still, He has a plan for my days that involves doing the sorts of things, embracing the types of thoughts, and allowing His love to infuse my heart so that I will appear to this world as a person who is truly set apart from its sin and decay in order to reach out with Christ’s grace and love to people who need to know that they can have eternal hope and complete joy. When we seek to live as humble vessels who pour out Christ into our world, God smiles upon us as He says, “You are pleasing to me, my beloved child.”