Living To Please God
By Richard Baxter
Remember still that the pleasing of God is your business in the world, and that in pleasing Him your souls may have safety, rest, and full content, though all the world should be displeased with you. God is enough for you; and His approval and favour are your portion and reward. How sweet and safe is the life of the sincere and upright ones, that study more to be good than to seem good, and think if God accept them that they have enough! Oh what a mercy is an upright heart! which renounceth the world, and all therein that stands in competition with his God; and taketh God for his God indeed, even for his Lord, his Judge, his Portion, and his All!
See therefore that you live upon God’s approval as that which you chiefly seek, and will suffice you. Which you may discover by these signs:
1. You will be most careful to understand the Scripture, to know what doth please and displease God.
2. You will be more careful in the doing of every duty, to fit it to the pleasing of God rather than man.
3. You will look to your hearts, and not only to your actions; to your ends, and thoughts, and the inward manner and degree.
4. You will look to secret duties as well as public, and to that which men see not, as well as unto that which they see.
5. You will reverence your consciences, and have much to do with them, and will not slight them: when they tell you of God’s displeasure, it will disquiet you; when they tell you of His approval, it will comfort you.
6. Your pleasing men will be charitable for their good, and pious, in order to the pleasing of God, and not proud and ambitious for your honour with them, nor impious against the pleasing of God.
7. Whether men be pleased or displeased, or how they judge of you, or what they call you, will seem a small matter to you, as their own interest, in comparison to God’s judgment. You live not on them. You can bear their displeasure, censures, and reproaches, if God be but pleased.
These will be your evidences.