Serve God, Not Man…
Where does your loyalty lie?
Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. -Galatians, 1:10, NAB
The true problem for the Galatians is that they were following the rules and laws according to man, not God. These Laws were Mosaic Laws (the Laws of Moses) and had been a part of Jewish tradition for many centuries, but when Jesus opened the Gospel to the Gentiles, all of that changed.
In the Early Church, there were questions about how to handle some of these old laws. Acts 15 shows us that the early Christians made definitive decisions about the Mosaic Law, such as circumcision. Turning their focus from rituals to faith in Christ, they decided to leave the old Laws behind.
If the Church had made these decisions, the Galatians should have followed these instructions. Instead, they chose to follow the laws and rules of false teachers – they chose to follow men over God.
In our lives today, as our faith and beliefs are forced out of the public square, we are often faced with the same choice. Do we follow the Laws of man or the Laws of God? Sometimes, the choice is clear; other times, it is not. We must be careful to properly discern which laws to follow. We must serve God, not man.
A great example of this is the HHS Mandate in the United States. The HHS Mandate forces religious institutions to violate their consciences. To comply with the Law, they must pay for contraception and sterilization through insurance plans or face severe penalties. Many institutions within the Catholic Church have bravely chose to fight back – regardless of the cost.
Beyond choices of whether something is legal or illegal, there are other times when we must choose to serve God, not man. As St. Paul asked the Galatians, should we be trying to please people? Do we care more about what others think about us than God? Following God can sometimes be a hard thing to do. With pressure from the world around us, it may not always be the popular choice.
Our primary purpose as Christians is to serve God first. While it is important to love our neighbor and follow the just Laws of man, they come second to being a servant of Christ. Follow the ways of Christ in all that you do, and remember to always serve God, not man.