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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What is God about to do?

Have you ever considered that question? I recently shared with our church family this very question, “What is God about to do?” How do we know when to ask such a question? It may be when God presents us with a question that we are to respond to. It may be when we are confronted with a challenge that is bigger than we are. It may be when God instructs us to follow Him on a certain path, simply trusting Him for the outcome.

I recently shared my story of “Ripe Figs”. The story simply focused on the importance of living and waiting for the “due season” to reap the figs. To reap figs prematurely would not be tasteful or to wait too long, they would be either eaten by the birds or maybe too ripe to harvest. Earlier this week, my wife, Julie and I picked a couple of gallons of figs. They were beautiful and very tasty. We didn’t need them, so I called a friend up and asked if they would like to have the raw figs. Their response was “Yes, indeed. I would like to have some to make preserves”. Well, I took the figs to our friend’s house. The same evening, our friend walked up to me and gave me a bag which contained a jar of fig preserves. As you can imagine, I was delighted. My mind immediately went to the thought of having hot biscuits and fresh homemade fig preserves.

In order to make fig preserves, figs are needed. Like the story in John 6, a great company of over 5000 people had been with Jesus. Jesus asked about feeding the crowd. Andrew found a lad who had five loaves and two fishes, but what were they among so many? Jesus had the people sit down, and He took the loaves and fishes and gave thanks to them. The entire crowd was fed and twelve baskets of fragments, leftovers were gathered. In order to feed the multitude, the lad was willing to place his tiny lunch in the hands of Jesus.

Raw figs given—fig preserves received. A lad’s small lunch given–over 5000 people fed.

What is God about to do? We may never know unless we are willing to place before Him whatever we have, totally trusting Him with the outcome.

What is God about to do in your life?

Woody