Thursday, October 17, 2013

You Can't Please Everyone

It's been said a million times, "You can't please everyone." And yet many of us try, often over-committing and running ourselves into the ground, or compromising our integrity to keep people happy. Everyday the desire to please will drive you. How do you decide who to please, when you can't please everyone?

The Bible has a lot to say about the matter, but let me simply suggest two texts to hold onto - one for each hand - as you walk this treacherous road.

1) Galatians 1:10
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
2) 1 Corinthians 10:33
just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
Ray Ortlund, Jr. wisely puts these two texts together like this (emphasis added):
[H]ere is now [the Apostle Paul] reconciled his desire to please people, on the one hand, with his deeper desire to please God, on the other. When Paul faced a choice between pleasing himself and pleasing others, he pleased others. When he faced a choice between pleasing others and pleasing God, he pleased God.
From his seminar given at the 2011 Gospel Coalition National Conference entitled, "Justification versus Self-justification."

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