A disciple walks with Jesus consistently and falls more in love with Him daily. A disciplemaker takes this to the next level and helps others do the same. They see their work titles, life roles, and responsibilities as opportunities to touch lives for Christ and help them grow in Him.
In I Thessalonians 2:1-6, Paul writes of three characteristics of disciplemakers. In this article we will explore just the first one-that disciplemakers are God pleasers.
“You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you about his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed — God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.”
Notice Paul emphasizes that, “We are not trying to please people but God … we were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else.” Disciplemakers seek to please God and do not seek praise from people.
“Praise from People”
“Praise from people” is when we look for others to applaud our actions or decisions, doing things just for people to notice or approve. We should not base our words or actions on what others would think but on what God would think. Disciplemakers know we are not here to build a fan base but to be an instrument in God’s hands. God pleasers cannot have great concern with what others think. If they do, then they will not be effective bold witnesses for Christ.
God Pleaser in the Workplace
At the gym where I teach a few group fitness classes, I regularly and publicly talk about Christ. I invite people to church and lead a Bible study in the gym conference room. I make Christian posts in the 900-plus-member Facebook fitness group I administer. Not everyone in my classes or on the Facebook page are Christians. Many of them are from other faiths or none at all. I could shrink back and think, “If I announce this Bible study or invite people to Christmas Eve service, people may see me as narrow minded. They could see me as pushy. They may exclude me from events and gatherings.”
But, I, along with Paul in the above verses, join him in saying, “I am not trying to please people but God.” I seek to use each platform I am given to be a God pleasing disciplemaker. Is this true of you as well?
Pause right here. Ask, “Lord, show me where I am seeking praise from people instead of being a God pleaser. Lord, what areas of my life need to change to be a more effective disciplemaker in your kingdom?”
While we will never reach perfection in this area, we can at least be aware of this tenancy in our lives and take it to God regularly. Being mindful where I am seeking praise from others instead of God has been a game changer for me. That is my hope for you as well!