My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you (Prov. 3:1-2).
When we love God, pleasing him pleases us. Loving God and loving ourselves are not competing motivations. When we please the One we love the most, we find our own greatest pleasure. Satisfying the One we most love satisfies us most fully.
So, we do not need to see pleasing God as an onerous burden that we assume simply to make him happy. As a loving Father, he teaches us to follow paths that are good and safe, thereby adding to the length and peace of our days that extend into eternity.
Those who find true happiness in the Christian life do not see their service to God as begrudging duty to an arbitrary master. We come to understand obedience as a means of pleasing a loving Father who is guiding us to the best of this life’s blessing every day. Service to him both satisfies our souls and blesses our lives.
In a fallen world, trials and tragedy will come into every life, but there is no better, safer, or more satisfying path for God’s eternal blessings and earthly joys than one he prepares for us and walks with us.
When love for God is our highest priority, then honoring him is our greatest joy! Such joy is not denied by trials but is often discovered through them. Serving God through our challenges becomes the ultimate expression of his honor and our satisfaction.
By honoring him most, we love ourselves best!
Father, help me long to please you in everything I do today, knowing that by honoring you out of love for you I will also find my greatest fulfillment.