Guest Article: How To Please Everyone by Tim Woodward

Páramo woolly baby donkey in Chimborazo, Ecuador

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s an older article written by one of the ministers at a sister congregation in the same county as Keltonburg. It includes a great story that illustrates the impossibility of pleasing every person.

A man and his grandson went on a journey one day, 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 animal.

The next traveler they met frowned and said, “How dreadful for a strong boy to be riding while an old man walks.” With that the boy climbed off the donkey and his grandfather climbed on.

The next person down the road, however, 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 aboard and off they rode on the donkey together.

That is, until they met the fellow who screamed, “I never saw anything so cruel in my life, two intelligent human beings riding on one poor, defenseless donkey.”

Down the road a short distance, the trio met a couple of men traveling together. After they passed, one of the men turned to the other and said, “Did you ever see two bigger fools carrying that donkey?”

How do you please everyone? YOU CAN’T! Don’t even try! Just do your best to please God. Perhaps that’s the lesson Paul had learned when he wrote in Galatians 1:10…”For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” The sooner that each of us learns that we cannot live by the conscience of other men, the better off we will be. While we try to please others we sometimes find ourselves in a far worse predicament than when we first started. So, follow the advice Peter gave in Acts 5:29…”we ought to obey God rather than men.

Tim Woodward, Smithville church of Christ

 

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