For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10, NASB95)

The siren call of the world gets stronger and stronger every year as the culture speeds rapidly down the slippery slope of morality, racing it would seem to reach the bottom.  “Tolerance [of anything and everything] is the highest good,” screams culture, “you’d better be on the right side of history [which is the side we are currently on]. Truth is relative, evil is good, good is evil, weakness is strength, and slavery is freedom.”

Along comes Paul, who knew a thing or two about living faithfully to God in a culture that did exactly the opposite, to tell us: “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”  We simply cannot be on the side of culture and all that it calls us to be and do, and also be a bond-servant [a slave! How politically incorrect Paul was] of Christ.  Paul is therefore not trying to please men because he knows that it is impossible, and neither should we.

James will say the same thing:

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, ESV)

You can be a friend of the world, dear reader, or you can be a slave of Christ, you cannot be both.