Pleasing to God, Displeasing to the World - The Warrior's Journey®

Pleasing to God, Displeasing to the World

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

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“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.”  (2 Corinthians 2:14-16, NASB) 

There is a dilemma that confronts every Christian believer who grows in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). The more fit for heaven that God makes us, the less fit for this world we become. The more we belong to Christ, the less we belong to this world. The humor that used to put us in stitches, now sickens us. The arrogance that used to impress us, now turns us off. A growing tension between our soul and this world makes life down here less and less tolerable. 

What’s worse, the world feels increasingly hostile toward us and our beliefs. The more steadfastly we cling to Jesus the more we anger this world, which lies in the power of the devil (1 John 5:19). To a world that calls good evil and evil good and that calls darkness light and light darkness (Isaiah 5:20), we who follow Jesus become increasingly offensive. When the Romanian-born Marxist, Andre Claudrescu, spoke on NPR he gave this opinion of Christians who believe in the Second Coming of Christ. “The sudden evaporation of the four million people who believe this crap will leave the world a better place.” Should it surprise us that “those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12)?  To a world that loathes Jesus, we stink like a dead corpse whose odor only worsens with time. And the sooner they can be rid of us, the better. 

But don’t let that get you down. It’s actually a very healthy sign if this present world finds us offensive because we follow Jesus Christ. It’s a sign that we’re alive and well. It’s indicative that we’re growing more and more Christ-like, that we’re becoming sweeter and more pleasing to God – as well as to His household.   

Believe me, it’s far better to have Satan and this world as an enemy, than to have God for an enemy. It’s far better to feel increasingly uncomfortable in this world, and to yearn for the New Heaven and New Earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). This world and all its pleasures are about to pass away. But those who are pleasing to God will live and endure forever (1 John 2:17). So stop seeking approval from this world and pursue the approval and praise that comes from God alone. 


  • What did James say that friendship with the world amounts to (James 4:4)? 
  • What did Jesus say is God’s opinion of what the people of this world regard highly (Luke 16:15)? 
  • Let’s forsake this world’s pleasures and praise, and let’s cling to Jesus Christ. 

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