Galatians 1:10 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.
Paul was confronting the false teaching and deception that had infiltrated the Galatian church. Men had come in bringing a distorted gospel and the Galatians had believed it. As we find out later in the book of Galatians, the perversion was to add law to grace. If you really understand grace then it is quite baffling to understand why anyone would be so accepting of law after having received grace. But there is an element to law keeping that is satisfying to man – a sense of accomplishment and having earned something from God. Of course we know that no one can keep the law thus no one can earn anything from God. Do it truly is a deception.
So Paul had to confront this error and he let them know that his purpose in preaching the gospel to them was not to please any man, he wasn’t trying to win their favor or to accommodate himself to their opinions and desires. And listen to what he says: if I still pleased men, I would not be a bond servant of Christ.
If you serve the opinions and desires of men, rest assured that you will not be serving God. Consider what Jesus said:
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
If you are a servant of God (as in actually serving Him) you will, at times, find yourself in conflict with others who want you to do or say things their way. When this happens, a choice must be made. Here is how Jesus chose:
John 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
John 12:49 “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.
People may cast you aside when you don’t fall into line with their opinions and desires but the Father will not leave you alone when you are choosing to do those things that please Him.
Amen, Eirene. Paul loved God and people enough to tell the Galatians the truth. He also did not distort the gospel for his own personal gain. We are wise to follow His example. Blessings.