Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
People pleasing, I am all about it! All of my life I have wanted people to like me. That is and has always been too important to me. Nothing hurts me worse than to know that someone doesnâ€™t like me or says something ugly about me. Even if I deserve it I want to say, let me fix it. I do not want you to dislike me. Sometimes people say ugly things that aren’t even true. Boy, does it hurt.
I am sure that at least some of you think the same way. I have now been preaching for roughly 40 years. I have been in full time ministry nearly 36 years. I have said and done things that I regret. I have hurt people.
In my youth I was almost taught that if I were a real preacher I would be so strong that I would be “mean!” They never used that word but it was kind of understood. I think you know what I mean.
The older I get the more I wish that I had known better. But sometimes now I want to go too far the other way.
I want everyone to think well of me. I would like to always hear nice things about me and the ministry that God has given me. Sometimes that means that we sacrifice the truth. Not everyone is going to like the truth.
Now I do not want to be ugly just to be ugly. I would never want to considered a “hate” preacher but there are plenty of Biblical truths that do not set well with the majority of the world. I must decide that fundamental, foundational, Biblical truths must be believed, practiced, and preached even if it hurts people and causes them not to like me.
Do you water now the truth to get people to like you? I am not talking about the gray areas. I am talking about the very clear Biblical truths. Do you try to leave your walk with God at home so as to keep your friends? Do you try to take the edge off of the gospel to make it more palatable. I have done the same but that isn’t right.
If everyone likes you then you probably are not telling the truth. We can tell the truth kindly. We can be gentle with people but we must tell the truth.
The most offensive thing about the gospel is its exclusivity! Absolutely no one is going to get to God, to Heaven except through Jesus Christ. That means that the majority of the world will not like your message. John 14:6, Hebrews 4:12
It is not our goal to have everyone speak well of us! It is our goal to please the Lord Jesus Christ.
I still hunger for the accolades of men. I still wish they would all say nice things about me but that is not the goal. I do not want to be a false prophet.
Last thing, I do wish that I had only offended people with the essentials and not with everything else. You can leave your political views out of the discussion. You can just go straight for the target. They must believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.