The HOPE is HERE!
I am reading this book with one of my girls, and when we got to these chapters (after feeling abused by the first four), we sent each other texts that could have been expressed with nothing more than smiling emojis. (about 100 of them!) Like cool water flowing down a parched throat in a dusty desert, the refreshing joy of Hope is more delightful after walking in the darkness of frustration and discouragement.
So, are you ready?
Let's be encouraged - together!
Chapter Five: You Can't Please All of the People Even Some of the Time
- "There may be no more powerful argument to persuade you to stop seeking the approval of man than that of the profound folly, futility, and utter impossibility of trying to please all of the people some of the time."
- "It is fruitless to try to please men because each person is different and therefore, by pleasing some, you will inevitably displease others.
When you add man's sinful heart into the equation, the statistical probability of pleasing even some men all of the time is infinitesimally small."
- "The only thing that seems to please most of the people most of the time and command enduring and consistent praise is true Christian character. But even genuinely Christlike character can be misunderstood and will displease some."
- "It is unrealistic to try to please people because selfishness distorts their thinking and raises the expectations above that which you can reasonably fulfill."
- "Sin has affected man's entire thought process - his perceptions, his reasoning ability, his judgment, his motives, his appetites, his desires, and his expectations. Why, then, would you trust his ability to discern your character and determine the basis on which he approves or disapproves of you? Why trust him to determine the standard by which he accepts or rejects you?"
- "Remember that men are so selfish that their expectations will be greater than you will be able to satisfy. They will not consider those things that might prevent you from giving them what they desire, such as your ministry to others, or your job, or your necessary diversionary activities. They want you all to themselves as though you had no one else to care for but them." - Richard Baxter (1600's)
- "It is unreasonable to try to please people because even among Christians, judgmental attitudes and critical spirits are all too prevalent.
The truth is, even though we know it's wrong, and even though we do not want other to do it to us, most of us regularly make very unloving judgments about others. Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others. Ecclesiastes 7:21, 22
God is the only One who evaluates us righteously."
- "It is futile to try to please people because even Jesus Christ, the perfect man, did not please everyone.
Even with all of His virtues ... He did not prevent everyone from speaking evil against Him and rejecting Him."
- "It is useless to try to please people because they are fundamentally incapable of being pleased by anyone or anything other than Christ.
The only hope you and I have of pleasing people is by introducing them to the only One who can truly please and satisfy them - the Lord Jesus Christ."
Chapter Six: But You Can Please God
- "Learning to please God instead of man is the single greatest remedy to the problem of pleasing man.
Is it your ambition to please God?
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Benefits of Pleasing God Rather Than People
---> You have only one Master to please rather than many. "If you seek first to please God and are satisfied with that, you have but one to please instead of multitudes; and a multitude of masters are harder to please than one." - Richard Baxter
---> The One you please is wiser than man and will neither misunderstand you nor treat you unreasonably.
How many times have you been misunderstood by others? How often have your words, actions, attitudes, thoughts, and motives been misjudged by those closest to you? Yet how many times has the Lord misunderstood you? He has never misread, misjudged, misunderstood, or misconstrued anything about you.
---> The One you please will judge you not on outward appearance, but on that which is in your heart.
God is the only one who can see and rightly evaluate all our external and internal behavior.
---> The One you please is immutable.
Unlike man, whose mind often changes with the minutest bit of "new information," God's mind doesn't change. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
The things that please man today may very well displease him tomorrow.
Man changes his mind regularly. God doesn't change His.
---> The One you please will not be influenced by talebearers, gossips, or false accusers. Neither will He be misled by misinformation.
Only God knows who is telling the truth and who is lying. He cannot be misled by any variety of falsehood, no matter how cleverly disguised. His opinion of you is totally unaffected by misinformation that others are prone to believe about you.
And here it is - the icing on the cake for this section! Encouragement times 1,000!
"Your primary calling in life is to please and glorify God in all that you do. The knowledge that you are walking worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all respects (Colossians 1:10), should be a source of peace, security, joy, and contentment that will prevail over any fear of man's disapproval. If God is pleased with your life, what does it matter if man is displeased? God's approval and favor is a sufficient reward."