Read: 1 Thessalonians 2:1–8

Even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4b & c

Who is your audience? Whom do you try to please? From whom do you desire applause and recognition? We may not think about it much, but we are all performers. We perform routine tasks, we receive performance reviews from our employers, and we long to perform well academically or athletically or financially. As a result, we can have an overwhelming need to meet countless expectations—regardless of the appropriateness of those expectations. There is also the issue of so craving applause and approval that we seek it out whatever the cost. Either way, we can easily fall into lives and ways of living that are unmanageable and unfulfilling.

Paul understood his audience. He knew for whom he performed. It wasn’t the civil authorities that so often sought to run him out of town. It was not even the fledgling bands of new Christians he helped to form and found around the Mediterranean world. He did not seek the admiration of his peers or other religious teachers. Paul’s audience was Jesus alone. His singular desire was to please God. God’s applause was the only affirmation he sought.

So . . . who is your audience?

Dear Lord, I feel worn out from trying to please and impress a thousand different audiences. It is overwhelming. Why do I set myself up with expectations I can never meet? Help me to be clear about whom I need to please—You and You alone. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.