When the temptation comes to please people more than God let’s remember what men are like. Don’t be fooled by the compliments of men. They will not give you what you need. Only Jesus is worthy of our worship. Men will have ulterior motives but Jesus has already served us even before we accepted him. He loved us before we even gave him our attention and died for us when we were still in our sins. If you substitute Jesus for that man of God or that ministry team you will for sure regret it.
You meet this guy who always shows up when he’s needed. He never wants to fail people. If anything he’ll go out of his way to serve others. You think, if everyone was like him how far would this ministry go. Why can’t people be this committed? But then you realise something, he doesn’t take criticism kindly. He’s easily injured by correction and plagued by a lack of attention. You notice especially that when a certain figure is away he’s not as committed. You come at a crossroads because you need his energy and commitment but you don’t want to take advantage of them. Well, what you have is a classic example of a man-pleaser.
The problem with man-pleasing is that it’s hard to distinguish it from genuine commitment and most people don’t even know it’s their ailment. We think we are sold out for the Gospel and its good works but in truth, it’s our idol begging us to worship. If we give our best to church but feel bad when people don’t appreciate it then we have a problem. If our attitude to service changes with who’s around then we are pleasing people. If we easily give up serving on account of criticism or lack of attention then we have an idol in pleasing people. Unfortunately, people make for very bad idols. They will without fault fail us. Worse they will take advantage of us. False teachers especially love this kind of people because with the right words they’ll do everything for them. But is there hope for us?
Please a Different Man
There’s one man who we can please and he’ll never fail us. One man who will never take advantage of us and for whom we have all the motivation to serve. He’s the man who dragged a cross all through Jerusalem and was hung outside the city for our sake. If you want to please a man, try Jesus. If anyone deserves our time and attention let it be Jesus. The beauty of it is he’s always watching, unlike that ministry leader.