Having kids has a way of teaching you a lot about life.
Before I knew any better, I would ask our kids what would they like for dinner. One would want nuggets and fries. One wanted pizza. One would want chips and queso. And one would want nothing but a slushie. At that point, I would realize how unwise it is to ask 4 little kids what they want to eat. There is little chance of them all agreeing. And there is no chance of me pleasing each of them. I quickly learned you can’t please everybody. (Now I just decide, and we go there. Or I just let one of them choose. Much better!)
Anyone who has lived long enough has learned that you can’t please everybody. And if you cannot please everyone, then we ought to try to figure out who do we want to please. And that can be difficult. Many people try so hard to please others or themselves or their families and so forth, yet it is not working. We can’t please everyone. We don’t know who to please. And this confusion is quite displeasing.
Let me suggest 3 ideas (all found in Romans 15:1-3):
- Not to Please Ourselves. Knowing God through Jesus so alters our life-focus that we are more concerned with helping others than we are with pleasing ourselves. Romans 15:1 says to not live to please ourselves. Once we realize the freedom in serving others, we can stop trying to please ourselves. Once we stop trying to please ourselves, we are closer to knowing who we should live to please!
- Please His Neighbor. Christians are interested in making a difference in people’s lives. Romans 15:2 says to live for the good of our neighbor. It says to live to build him up. We should live to please those around us. Making them better, stronger built-up people!
- Christ did not Please himself. Our great God and Savior Jesus shows us who we should please – not ourselves (Romans 15:3). Jesus is the happiest man who ever lived. And that joy came from pleasing God and not self. Jesus lived to please God, and God was certainly pleased with his son. He says exactly that at Jesus’s baptism in Matthew 3:17.
So if we can’t please everybody, who then should we please? We should not try to please ourselves. And we should try to please our neighbors. And when you put both of those together along with the example of Jesus, you have the desire to please God. For we cannot please our neighbors without pleasing God. And we cannot NOT please ourselves without pleasing God.
And Paul says this very clearly in 2 Corinthians 5:9 “We make it our aim to please Him (God).”
You cannot please everybody. Trust in Christ and be committed to living a life that is pleasing to God.