The problem with trying to please everyone is not with the crowd. It’s with the person trying to accomplish a proven impossible task…..me…and/or you. When we engage in narcissism (self-absorption) we are imbalanced with our obsessive focus as to how we are doing; and how we think others think we are doing. Although we say we are trying to keep someone else happy, we are using them as a scorecard about ourselves….how am I doing? I’m doing good. They are smiling at me. Oh, I must be good. Oops! I must be doing badly. They are scowling at me. Bad me. It’s all about me.
We must shift to more of him and less of self. We are as John the Baptist; we must decrease that Jesus might increase. Followers are expected to take up their crosses daily. To please every one is a direct contradiction to the call of the cross. Believers die on the cross because they are persecuted. The reason they are persecuted is they are disliked. We strip the cross of its intended dynamic when we race to keep ourselves on the good side of everyone we know.
How am I doing? What are they thinking about what I’m saying? This turns our mattresses into racks of torture. Such thinking shuts us down. We get to where we’d rather not try than try with the possibility of failing. When that happens we volunteer to take ourselves out of the game and sit in the stands with the other spectators of life. Not me. No more. I feel badly when I hit people the wrong way. But when I walk into a crowd of people there’s a fair chance a few may not like my shirt or my haircut or my speech or my attitude.
I must get it about myself: I have and will make mistakes which will turn people off. I can either quit living….or keep trying to escalate my effectiveness. Oddly, the more effective we become the bigger target for criticism we are. Life isn’t about me…..or others approving of me. It’s about making concerted effort to encourage as many people as we can that God has incredible hope for the hopeless and life for the lifeless. Somebody has to risk their own popularity by daring to risk to help a few.
Jesus is the most criticized man ever. There is no neutral with Jesus; people love him or hate him. He does not call us to be obnoxious. That’s not his style. He does call us to be brave; full of courage. Cease to let everyone else run your show. Awaken to the courageous Spirit of Christ within you. Dare to peek out of your shell and become the man or woman you were intended to be. If some don’t like you? It will be good emotional exercise for them to try to get over it.