Now does that sound as if I were trying to win human approval? No! I want G-d’s approval! Or that I’m trying to cater to people? If I were still doing that, I would not be a servant of the Messiah.
I feel this sentiment so powerfully. I have misused it in the past as a license to be unkind. This idea of honoring and pleasing the Father to the exclusion of all others feels good and right to me, perhaps to my flesh. John 13:35 “Everyone will know that you are my talmidim (disciples) by the fact that you have love for each other.” puts a different spin on the idea. Believers are to be loving towards one another to a degree that outsiders will notice the difference. What does that look like? Is it saccharine and sappy? Messiah flipped tables and yelled at people, told a young man to leave his dead father without a second thought and follow him. He called the Pharisees hypocrites and came hard against his enemies and taught his fellow Israelites to “Pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) He even healed the man who Kefa struck as he was being arrested. Where is the line? It feels to me like the idea is that if you are unpalatable to people because you are earnestly trying to cleave to the Most High, that’s ok. You can present yourself firmly and honestly, but you don’t have to compromise your convictions because it hurts someone’s feelings, but you don’t need to go out of your way not to offend them.
I would love some feedback on this.