It runs rampant these days – this culture of wishy-washy faith and lukewarm devotion. We are willing to speak truth as long as it does not offend anyone. We stand firm unless somebody complains or becomes upset. We have confused peacemaking with people pleasing and the results are not pretty. “Can’t we all just get along” has become our battle cry.
That way of thinking, however, simply does not work for Christ followers.
For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ. – Galatians 1:10
Here is the hard truth. You can not please everyone. My mom used to always say, You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool mom. Well, here is my version of that. You can, on occasion, please some people. You can never please all of the people. And, those people you did please yesterday, may turn on you tomorrow. Now, do not hear me say that people are awful and we should not even try to get along. My point is this: if our chief aim is to please people, we will fail miserably. Not only that, we will have wasted time and energy that would have been better used living lives which pleased God.
How disappointing must it be to God to see us isolating ourselves from unbelievers while, at the same time, being critical of Christ followers? We have become so concerned with brothers and sisters in Christ who may think differently than we think. We are quick to judge and point fingers. We feel justified in airing our every grievance. All the while, people are dying and going to hell. This is not okay. We do not need to be impossible-to-please people. Nor do we need to be people pleasers. We need to be about our Father’s business.
There will be times when we, as believers, do not agree. Choose grace over a grudge. It’s a lot more fun.
Recently, I have seen several people post the questions you are supposed to ask yourself before you speak or put anything on social media. I’m sure you have seen them as well.
- Is it true?
- Is it helpful?
- Is it inspiring?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it kind?
Paul may not have come up with a cute THINK acrostic, but I think he puts it quite well.
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8