Everyone Can Not be Pleased
A man and his grandson went on a journey, walking and leading a donkey. Soon they met a man who said, “How foolish for you to be walking. One of you should be riding the donkey.” So the man put his grandson on the donkey. The next traveler they met frowned and said, “How awful for a strong young boy to be riding while an old man walks.” With that, the boy jumped off the donkey and his grandfather climbed on.
The next person they met down the road said, “I just can’t believe that a grown man would ride and make a poor little boy walk.” So the man pulled the boy back on the donkey and off they rode. That is, until they met the next fellow who screamed, “I never saw anything so cruel in all my life; two intelligent human beings riding on a poor, defenseless donkey.”
Down the road a short way they met a couple of men traveling together. When they had passed, one of the men turned to the other and said, “Did you ever see two fools carrying a donkey before?”
How do you please everyone? That is a trick question. You can’t. Don’t even try. Just please God! Be like Paul. “Do you think I’m trying to make people accept me? No! God is the one I’m trying to please. Am I trying to please men? If I wanted to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Gal. 1:10)
We cannot live by the sense of right or wrong of other men. We must walk by the rule of faith; the word of God. (Rom. 10:17) “Friendship with the world is enmity toward God.” (James 4:4)
The word which we preach must not be aimed at tickling ears. It must be in accord with divine inspiration, whether it is liked or not. Preaching what is designed to please men will cause one to be accursed, even if preached by an angel from heaven. (Gal. 1:8-9)
We need not check with with men when preaching the word. “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure SOUND doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Tim 4:1-5) Our job is to persuade men to obey the PURE word.
The travelers in our story soon learned that trying to please everyone only led to confusion. Confusion leads to foolish actions; like carrying your donkey! Even worse; confusion divides; division leads to denominationalism. God is so not pleased.