Who Are We to Please?

Have you ever been guilty of being a “people pleaser’? I am sure that we have all struggled with pleasing people at one time or another. The apostle Paul was once a people pleaser.  His desire at one time in his life was to learn all he could of the sect of the Pharisees. He set at the feet of Gamaliel and desired to know the traditions of the Jews so that he could please men. He was totally against Christians. But, God saved him and from that time on, he didn’t care about pleasing people. Many people fight against God, because when God saves people, they can no longer be people pleasers.

As we consider the issue of pleasing people, let’s answer a couple of questions. The first question: “Is it wrong to be a people pleaser?” Answer: Primarily, our goal should be to please God, because He commands us to love Him first and then to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. So, it’s not wrong to please others if God is pleased.

The next question is: “When is it wrong to be a people-pleaser?”

When you act different based on the crowd—this is so easy to do but it is not right. If we are not focused, we will act and speak according to who we are with. We should strive to act the same regardless of those around us. By doing so, we are being true to ourselves.

When it is because of insecurity –people often act different so that others will like them. We need to be true to ourselves, being who we really are. If we act a certain way just for others to like us, most likely the relationship will not last. In other words, don’t compromise the truth in order to score points that really don’t matter.

When you remain silent when you should be speaking up- this is so easy to do as well. Rather than speaking up against something that is not right or standing up for someone who is being bashed, it is easier to keep quiet. However, we should be willing to speak the truth and do so in a spirit of love rather than trying to be a people pleaser. I am convinced that there are times, even when it is uncomfortable, that we need to speak up.

-When it causes you to be ashamed of Jesus- We read in Mark 8:38-“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Our desire to please others should never outweigh our love and obedience to Christ.

When it causes others to stumble- we need to remember that others are watching us live out our life. Our lives are not lived in secret. Could it be that in our attempt to please one person, we are actually causing many to stumble?

There are times that we need to do all that we can to please others. Spouses should strive to please one another, children should desire to please their parents, friends should desire to please their friends and employees should work to please their employers. However, our desire to please others should not be at the expense of being a living testimony for Jesus Christ.

Woody

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CHRISTmas is Almost Here

“Christmas is almost here!”  Have you heard that lately or even said those words to yourself? As we celebrate Christmas this year, what do you suppose the celebration will look like in your life? If you are like me, I love the celebration of Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. However, the Christmas season can bring about many stressors.

In the secular world, Christmas is a celebration that is being attacked on every front. Christmas carols are being changed so that no one’s beliefs will be insulted. Rather than reading the words “Merry Christmas”, we are often confronted with “Happy Holidays”. The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is becoming a time to celebrate without Christ.

Christmas is a time for giving, but it seems that is has become a time for consumers to lose all senses of financial responsibility. While being a time of celebrating, spending time with family and friends, sharing gifts, we often wake up after the Christmas season to realize that we now have bills added to our other bills, and they must be paid. Could it be that the evils of consumerism and materialism have stolen the truths of celebrating the birth of our Savior?

Another stressor is simply the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Most likely, your calendar is being adjusted every day, with the addition of another party or gathering. Maybe it’s a school party for your children, a party at your place of business, a Sunday School party, an extended family gathering, and all of this is piled on top of your regular schedule. Just to think about it can make you stressful!

Rather than allowing secularism, consumerism, materialism and busy schedules to steal our celebration of Jesus Christ, why don‘t we make some adjustments? Maybe we should buy gifts with intentionality rather than just buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts. Maybe we should make the time that we spend with family and friends special, rather than a time of forced togetherness. Give more attention to the toddlers, spend time with the teenagers, give appreciation for your parents, and be concerned for your friends. Be mindful that we may be spending time with someone who is lonely due to the death of their spouse or family member. We may be spending time with someone whose health is failing, someone who has lost their job or may be going through a hard time in life.

Jesus Christ is God’s gift to us. In John 14:6, we read these words, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man can cometh to the Father, but by me”. Remember, Christmas is almost here! Don’t be like the innkeeper who was too busy with the mundane issues, or like the guests who were more concerned with their comforts, or like King Herod who was too absorbed with his dreams of glory.

Guard your hearts and lives so that Christ will be the focus of your celebration!

Woody

How’s Your Measurements?

How’s Your Measurements?

What do you use to measure your weight? Do you prefer your scales or the doctors? Do you refer to your height in inches, feet or centimeters? If your height has a fractional number, do you tend to go up or down to the closest whole number? When you speak of your age, do you use the age closest to your past decade or the decade yet to come? When you speak of how fast you can walk a mile or how much weight you can press, do you refer to your high school stats or those of the present? When counting your calorie intake, do you lean to the conservative or liberal side of the calorie count?

Interestingly enough, oftentimes when we refer to our data, we may tend to refer to the data that makes us feel better about ourselves. We may even refer to the data that we hope to one day attain, rather than where we presently find ourselves. Could it be that we know where we want to be but we haven’t arrived yet? Could it be that we are unable to do certain acts that we once were able to do?

Have you ever thought that the measuring stick that tends to favor our desires may not be accurate? I would like to think that I am a good person—but the question would be “compared to who?” I would like to think that I am a good friend—but the question is “compared to who? “I would like to think that I am a good driver—compared to who? I would like to think that I eat healthy—but the question is, “compared to who?” The list can go on and on.

What about the measurement that really matters—your relationship with Jesus Christ? What are you using for your measuring stick in your relationship with Jesus Christ? I would encourage you to NOT use others, your works, your things, your money, your ability—anything or anybody on this earth.

Our relationship with Jesus Christ is the ONE thing in our life that needs to be measured with accuracy. We cannot afford to be wrong in this area of our life. The measuring stick is the Bible and the Bible is always accurate! 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires (Hebrews 4:12).

 

How’s Your Measurements?

Woody