”Som ni förstår säger jag inte detta för att hålla mig väl med människor, utan för att bli godkänd av Gud. Jag struntar i vad människor tänker, för om jag fortfarande försökte hålla mig väl med människor skulle jag inte kunna tjäna Kristus.” (Galaterbrevet 1:10 BSV)
I think this translation brings out the truth of what Paul is trying to say much better than some other ones, but it hits me right between the eyes: if I strive to please people, then I cannot serve Christ! Why? Because if we radically follow and obey His commands, then we will constantly offend people, even believers!
For many years as a missionary, I tried to fit in by looking respectable. That also meant keeping my hair somewhat short. One day, after watching the first Narnia movie with my family, I looked at the movie poster, and all the male characters had long hair. Quite clearly I heard the Lord say, ”I want you to grow your hair long!” ”But Lord”, was my immediate reply, ”what will the others think of me?” His reply was clear and to the point: ”Exactly! I want you to offend their religious minds.”
And that is exactly what happened. As my hair grew, I could see the reactions from the missionary community. I could see them roll their eyes and talk behind my back. But as I lost the respect of some, I had a sense of God’s pleasure over me – and that is far better than the approval of man!