Focus on Pleasing God - The Warrior's Journey®

Focus on Pleasing God

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“So we make it our goal to please him…  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:9-10) 

In the spring of 2019, the city of Pullman, Washington endured significant flooding after eleven consecutive days of heavy rain. On the eleventh day, the flood waters rose three feet in just a matter of minutes, leaving numerous people stranded at various locations in the city.  One of these was a person experiencing a diabetic emergency at a flooded out gas station. The Pullman Fire Department was at wit’s end trying to find ways to rescue these people. 

Finally, they resorted to using the bucket of a heavy-duty front-end loader to carry two firefighters to the gas station. They were able to rescue the person suffering the medical emergency, along with four other people from the scene. The front-end loader easily maneuvered through the rushing four-foot-deep waters and brought the people to safety. The firefighters rode in the bucket with the stranded people to ensure their safe transport. They continued to rescuing others throughout the day. By evening they had rescued 22 people using the front-end loader. Clearly it was a heroic effort. 

But not everyone thought so. One anonymous individual filed several complaints to the state’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) against the fire department for safety violations. According to the L&I, the Pullman Fire Department engaged in a “swift water rescue without being certified, didn’t wear personal flotation devices or water rescue helmets, and ‘rode unsecured’ in the loader.” The city was fined $900 per violation, a total of $2,700. Rather than embroil itself in a legal battle, the city paid the fines. Fire Chief Mike Heston, however, was completely unapologetic for their actions. “Our job is to solve problems, and to weigh the risks versus the benefits. I hire problem solvers.” 

It seems that no good deed ever goes unpunished. There’s always some critic who finds fault with the brave, selfless, and heroic efforts of others. Someone will always pass judgment on those who only wish to save lives and make a difference for good in the world. But don’t let the critics get you down. Nothing in the universe escapes God’s notice and He delights in every good deed that we perform (Psalm 37:23; Hebrews 4:13). And, according to the Bible, the God of heaven keeps perfect records on everything (Revelation 2:2, 19; 3:1, 8, 15). Though the world may neither recognize nor reward our efforts on behalf of others, God sees them all and will awesomely reward us (1 Corinthians 15:58). Let’s focus on pleasing Christ and ignore the critics. 



  • Who do you consider your immediate supervisor, people or Jesus Christ? 
  • Read Colossians 3:22-24. Did believing slaves serve an earthly master or Jesus? 
  • Let’s focus on pleasing Christ alone in our work and do our work for Him. 

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