Everything that Jesus did was an expression of His love for His Dad.
Every act of kindness that He displayed to an ungrateful people was
motivated by His desire to always please His Father. In turn, His
loving Father showed Him all that He was doing (John 5:19-20).
both Father & Son, sealed by the love forged between them by their
own Spirit, went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed
of the devil (Acts 10:38). Their union was a constant delight as they
blessed every baby, healed every sick person, and forgave the broken
Never before had humanity witnessed such a
horizontal display of love made possible by the vertical union of the
Godhead. And yet, even then, the general public was as fickle as can
be. One moment they wanted to force Jesus to be their king (John 6:15)
and the next they called for His crucifixion (Mark 15:13-14).
wonder that Jesus never entrusted His heart to these folks because He
knew what was in their hearts (John 2:24). He knew that their motives
were tainted and subject to the prevailing opinion of the masses. So He
never spent even one bit of energy trying to please them.
wasn’t impressed with the ruling political powers (Pontius Pilate
& King Herod) and He wasn’t impressed with the religious power
center of the day either (Matthew 23). He never tried to be politically
correct in the way He lived His life around them. His only desire was
to please His Father no matter what the cost was to those who would
I think that it was in this same spirit that Paul
wrote Galatians 1:10… For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God?
Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I
wouldn’t be a servant of Christ. (WEB) I find it interesting to read
that Paul seems to say that it is simply NOT possible to please man and
God at the same time!
I realize that Paul made this statement
in reference to a bunch of legalists whose intent was to corrupt the
good news of the gospel, but it is a verse that we still should take
note of nonetheless. You see, in Paul’s day, there was a popular wind
of doctrine that tried to bring the Gentiles into the same customs and
rituals as their Jewish brothers. Instead of enjoying the unmerited
favor of God’s scandalous grace through Christ and Christ alone, these
‘leaders’ tried to bully the Galatian newbies into more bondage.
opposition to this divisive legalism cost him a great deal. It would
have been far easier for Paul to not stand up for the truth of the
gospel, but he refused to relent. Instead, he declared that he would
choose to be a pleaser of God rather than be a pleaser of men… no
matter what the cost.
Since God’s ways are far above our ways
(Isaiah 55:9) and His chosen people are a bunch of poor, weak, fools (1
Corinthians 1:25-29), chances are we all will have to swim upstream
from public opinion at one time or another. Whether that opposition
originates within a religious system like the pharisees or a political
world system like Pontius Pilate’s.
If we choose to live a life
where our focus is on pleasing our Heavenly Papa, there is a good
chance that we might offend somebody. It is not that we want to be
offensive in any way, but that just might be the cost. Whether it be in
defense of the downtrodden or the marginalized, or for the sake of our
faithfulness to the Scriptures, you will probably not please everybody
and that’s okay.
While I believe it is important to try and
play nice with the other kids as much as we can (Romans 12:18), I
believe that we all need to be freed from an unhealthy need to please
people. Because if we don’t, we won’t truly be free.
If we live
our lives this side of heaven trying to make everybody else happy, we
may end up being the ultimate casualty. If we spend all our time trying
to jump through the many hoops of expectations at the expense of being
true to God and ourselves, what have we really accomplished in life?
is a question that I have asked myself because this is a personal
struggle that I have battled my entire life. Sure, people pleasing can
help you become very popular, but it is not really a very satisfying way
to live. When our own self-worth is rooted in the opinion of others,
even our friendships can become toxic. Instead of loving each other for
who we truly are, we can reduce our relationships to a place where we
are performing for each other. The end result is that our authenticity
is sacrificed at the altar of the fear of man.
If you look at a
people pleaser from a distance, they might appear to be very noble
because they are living their lives for others. But if you look closer,
you can see that their own insecurities are the motivator for their
affable personalities and their people pleasing is actually a form of
manipulation and control to make themselves feel better.
only when we truly know that we are loved and accepted by God that we
will be freed from the unhealthy need to be accepted by others. Of
course that doesn’t mean we will become insensitive to the needs of
other people because the opposite is true. The more that we are
conformed into the image of the Son (Romans 8:29), the more we will be a
manifestation of His servant heart. But just as Jesus didn’t entrust
His heart to a fallen world system, neither should we.
today is that we would know without a shadow of a doubt that God is for
us (Romans 8:31) and He loves ‘the real us’ more than we could ever
dream possible. I pray that out of His love and acceptance, we would
have the courage to resist the temptation to try and please people in a
way that would not be pleasing to our Dad.
May our heart and our
affections be so fixed on heavenly things (Colossians 3:1) that we
would be oblivious to the disapproval of a broken world and religious
system. May we all be pruned from controlling unhealthy relationships
that are based on counterfeit affections that hold us hostage
emotionally. I pray that we would all be truly free to be the genuine
son or daughter that our Father created us to be.
May we be so
synced with the heart of God that we would love what He loves and be a
manifestation of His ways and His voice in every situation that we find
ourselves in. ...Without caring whether His interests are shared by
the majority of popular opinion or not.
Romans 12:1-2 1
Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
spiritual service. 2 Don’t be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is
the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. (WEB)