Monday, October 8, 2012

Audience of One

By David A. Sargent

A brilliant young concert pianist was performing for the first time in public. The audience sat enthralled as beautiful music flowed from his disciplined fingers. The people could hardly take their eyes off this young virtuoso.  As the final note faded, the audience burst into applause.  Everyone was giving him a standing ovation.

As the young man stood before the audience, he scanned the audience until he found one person in particular.  He finally located him, and when he saw that this person was also standing and applauding with great approval, the young pianist graciously acknowledged the ovation.

WHO was the person whose opinion meant so much to the young man?  Whose praise and approval meant the most to him?  It was his teacher!

Virtually all of us seek the approval of someone. Whether we are aware of it or not, we do things with an eye to the approval of one audience or another. The question is not whether we have an audience but from which audience are we seeking approval.

It is a great temptation to seek the approval of the “crowd.”  But it is not the approval of the “crowd” that is most important.  After all, the opinion of the “crowd” often changes.  In fact, the “crowd” (the world) often applauds the wrong things!

The Apostle Paul asked, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?”  Then he affirmed: “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

In the end there is ONLY ONE Audience that really counts: God!  He is the One to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13).  He is the One that we must seek to please.

God is also the One what we should WANT to please.  Why?  Because He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27).  And, because even though that image has been marred due to our sin, He still wants to save us.  He loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die for our sins so that we might have forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7) and the hope of living with Him eternally in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4).

God will save those who: believe in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse those who continue to strive to follow His revealed will (1 John 1:7).

Do WE have the same desire for God's approval as that pianist had for
his teacher's praise? 

To follow God is to live for the ONLY audience that counts – the Audience of ONE. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Won’t you make that YOUR aim?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website:

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