A young man hunches over his desk poring over data and the materials of his job. He’s trying to find a solution to please his boss, but he doesn’t see one. He’s wondering how that will affect his standing in the company. Without hesitating, his mind goes to what his boss with think if he doesn’t find a solution. What will his wife and family think if he doesn’t get that promotion.
A little child stands on the playground with her peers behind her. They dare her (against her mother’s instruction) to climb to the top of the structure and walk dangerously on a thin pole several feet from concrete. She feels the stress of their jeers and thinks. What will they think if I don’t? Will I have any friends?
A suspect sits on the witness stand. He is asked to answer a difficult question. The truthful answer will throw him in questionable light even though he is innocent. Should he tell the truth and expose himself to a greater risk of being convicted? What will the jury think when they here the answer? What will his family think if he is convicted?
I’m sure you have been in this position. I know I have. We wonder, “What will __________ think?” We play over all the outcomes and people’s possible thoughts and judgments and we become stressed. We imagine being judged and condemned before we even are. Our worry of another’s possible thoughts, causes alarm. And we are left with cloudy judgment and a lack of conviction on what we should do. We allow another’s thoughts of us, dictate or influence our decisions.
This is not God’s way.
I would like to show you just a snapshot of Paul’s motivation in life. He was speaking to the Corinthians on a subject matter somewhat different from ours when he said,
“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self . . . he that judgeth me is the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 4
Think with me. Our motivation for living is Christ.
He is our all in all.
If our purpose is to please Him, what does it matter when others think ill of us in the most trivial or serious matters?
Christ is the only one we must please. Throughout history, God has called up men to speak on behalf of truth and righteousness- and they were not always well received. Could they have accomplished their calling by coddling the whims of men?
I challenge you, realize that it is a VERY small thing that someone on this earth should judge you. It doesn’t matter what your teachers think. What your boss thinks. What your friends think. What the general public thinks. Even on occasion, what your family thinks.
It matters what Christ requires of you.
The man at his job could solve the problem best if he sought divine guidance. Or maybe his boss knew he couldn’t solve the problem, but wanted to see how he acted under stress. Seeking God is always less stressful. That girl on the playground could have pleased her friends or broken her arm by accepting the dare. Perhaps by refusing, she would make the best choice and find some better friends. If the man on the witness stand lied, he would be sowing corruption in his life. If it came out later in the investigation he lied, it would go badly for him. If he told the truth, he would please his God in heaven and accomplish His supreme will.
When we strive to please man, we put our quest to please God on hold.
Allow your desire to please Christ motivate your every action.