“The one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him……..Nevertheless many, even of the rulers, believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, so that they would not be excommunicated from the synagogue; for they loved the approval of people rather than the approval of God.” John 12:25-26, 42-43 NASB2020 https://bible.com/bible/2692/jhn.12.42.NASB2020
There is a song that asks, ‘what do you want, what do you really, really want?’ God too asks us this question. Do we desire Him and His approval leading to eternal reward in His eternal kingdom or do we want the approval of men that leads to temporary accolades, as long as our service benefits them? God in Jesus defines for us what is necessary for receiving His eternal reward on that day when we meet Him face to face. We must deny ourselves, love Him most, serve His interests and seek His honor on earth. Not complicated nor impossible for anyone but necessary for everyone who will hear God say on judgement day, ‘well done My good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.’ Spending time with God in His word and prayer, putting the physical then the spiritual needs of others ahead of our own so that all men we know come to saving faith in Jesus and obeying God in every area of our lives is the daily disciplines necessary for living a life rewarded by God. Pleasing men is similarly done. Spending time with people, working hard before them, doing those things that men approve leads to human accolades. Yet what men approve and what God approves are not the same. The scripture defines the ways of God so that we can do the will of God for the glory of God. The media, the university, they define the ways of men so that we can please men. What do we really, really want? God’s eternal reward or man’s temporary reward. The answer seems obvious but our lives reveal what we are really working toward.