Fake Applause or The Crown?

Today in our first reading, Peter and the apostles give us a beautiful principle. I call it “God rather than man” principle. This principle makes us true Christians and it is the ONLY way to a fulfilling and a satisfying life. When Peter and the apostles had been questioned by the high priest, they said: “We must obey God rather than men.” What boldness! For them, they’re only moved by the Word of God and they’re ready to suffer for it.

Sometimes because of the challenges and difficulties that come with being on the ‘Right Side’, we’re easily tempted to kotow to evil and please men. But let’s use this time to build muscle for the principle of “God rather than man.” The more we make a conscious effort to please God, the more we will develop resistance to evil; thus it becomes easier for us to do what is right and pleasing to God.

In this life, we are always faced with a decision to choose to obey God or to please man and win his applause (which is only ephemeral and will ultimately draw us away from attaining eternal life). Another struggle within us is choosing to obey ourselves and follow our own evil, selfish desires, or listening to that still, small voice of God and doing what is morally right.

How can we use this principle in our daily lives? Here’s how: Any time we decide to love rather than be selfish, we have used the principle. When we choose to forgive rather than hate or harbour pain and hurt in our hearts we have used the principle. When we choose humility over pride we have used the principle. In simple terms, when we live true Christian lives, we’re following the principle.

My dearly beloved, God created us in His image and likeness; therefore when we choose God, we are becoming the image God created us to be rather than a caricature. Most of us are not happy because we are living a life which is not us. We’re desperately finding ways to please others, but no one has ever been happy living a life to please others. Be your true self.

St. Augustine said: “My heart is restless, unless it rests in you.” God is our source and so let us follow His Way because at the end of the day, it is ONLY Him who can satisfy your heart; not the approval or applause of the world (no matter how loud it is).
(Acts 5:27-33; Ps. 34; Jn. 3:31-36)


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