Galatians 1:10 says “Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
We can look at this verse and think “Yes, I don’t need to please people, because I only need to please God,” and we would be absolutely right, and also miss part of the meaning of this verse. What does it mean to please God? Is it the good things we do? Is it our talents? Is it how much money we have in the bank?
None of those things are the reason God is pleased with us. In fact, all of those things come from God. There is one essential element in pleasing God, and it’s faith. Hebrews 11:6 says “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
Our good works do please God, when they are done in faith. Our talents please God when we use them believing that they came from Him and no one else.
Both our good works and our talents will never reach their fullest potential without faith, because it becomes about us, or someone else, and not Christ.
So, when we think we have to earn God’s love, or that man’s approval is our answer, we aren’t living by faith. We’re depending on our own strength, and when we do that, we will always fall short.
We overcome our dependence on man’s approval through our righteousness in Christ. It frees us from all the things that could trap us. We don’t get caught up in trying to be someone we’re not, because man’s approval lessens in the light of God’s approval.
We are made righteous by faith.
“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe.” (Romans 3:21-22).
The righteousness that we receive by faith, will also help us live by faith.