Do I live for the praise of men?

Galileo Galilei.  Recognize that name?  Science wouldn’t be the same without Galileo’s remarkable discoveries.

However, did you know his last years were spent under house arrest, his writings banned, and his view point scorned?

Galileo lived in a time when people erroneously believed the Earth was the center of the solar system and the sun moved around it.  The Catholic church even pointed to Bible verses they thought supported that belief.  However, as Galileo observed the night sky through his telescope, he discovered that the Earth was actually revolving around the sun.  What an amazing discovery!  How did the Catholic church react? They tried him as a heretic for this belief and imprisoned him till the end of his life.

Perhaps I learned this in school, but I sure don’t remember it.  Not until I went to school a second time (i.e. homeschooling my kids) and was reading a kid’s picture book from the library, I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen, did I learn that Galileo was imprisoned in his own home for the last years of his life.

Galileo

How can the whole world hold Galileo in such high esteem now and yet in his own lifetime he died in such disgrace?  How does that happen?!  I was completely blown away.

Then, I was encouraged.

Galileo’s life story shows me that I shouldn’t focus on whether or not I am approved by man.

I’m not saying I am Galileo.  Far from it!  But I am saying that if the amazing Galileo (who was right!) wasn’t receiving man’s approval, why would I expect to receive approval in my lifetime.

The audience I ultimately should choose to live for is God.  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  His Word when studied, applied, and obeyed makes all the difference.  When mankind in my little sphere of the world doesn’t get me, understand me, respect me, honor me, or approve me…I need to be ok with that if my choices are aligned with Scripture (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

I need to be ok when I am not esteemed by friends, relatives, church members, co-workers, neighbors, and people at the store.  Easy to type; hard to live out.

A beautiful, indescribable place does exist where there are no misunderstandings, no conflicts, no meanness, no hate, no pain, and no tears (Revelation 21:1-4).  We will not misunderstand others, and we will not be misunderstood.  We will not even think about man’s approval.  And best of all, the children of God will live in that perfect place…forever (Revelation 21:7).

I am homesick for Heaven at the moment.  A lot.

For a little while longer while I am on this Earth that orbits the sun, I will have to at times endure conflicts trusting God is accomplishing His good purposes (Romans 8:28).  The “God of endurance and encouragement” will strengthen me and carry me on this journey (Romans 15:5; II Corinthians 12:8-10).  He can carry you too.

This journey will end.  And, God’s approval will be all that matters when that happens!

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”  (James 1:12)

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