Public Opinion

“I could care less what they think!” You ever said that? You were probably lying weren’t you? It seems most of us care much more about what others think than we like to admit. Else we never would sport some of those outlandish hairdos that come in style at times.

My grandmother was a lady who loved the Lord very much but even she was influenced by public opinion. She and granddad took us to church when I was little, before my parents started to attend.

I can remember being in the car on Sunday morning when mamaw would pose some uncomfortable questions, like, “David, did you wash behind your ears?” What a question! What eight-year old kid worries about dirt behind his ears?

Mamaws do, though. Each grandmother is afraid that other grandmothers at church will look behind her grandchild’s ear and find a speck of dust. I can imagine the response, “What a terrible grandmother! Her eight-year old grandson has a speck of dust behind his ears.” (In my case it might have been a small garden).

What to do? There was no water in the car. No problem.

Mamaw had just the solution. She licked her finger and attacked the offending speck with gusto. I hated that! The same remedy worked if your hair was standing up in back. A bit of saliva stuck it down nearly as well as Brylcream (You remember don’t you? “You still using that greasy kidstuff? Brylcreem! A little dab will do you.” If you remember that, run quickly to the medicine cabinet. You need a BIG spoonful of Geritol). I wished grandma had worried less about public opinion.

There was one person, though, who never seemed to be too concerned about other’s opinion of Him. That’s the Lord Jesus.

One night we were having devotions with our children when they were young. I was reading one of the passages where the Lord was giving it to the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees, one of those generation-of-vipers type verses. My son Steve was about thirteen at the time and he remarked, “He was asking for it.”

But Jesus never spent a lot of time checking his polling numbers. He was more concerned about right and truth than popularity. He wanted to obey His Father. Politicians decide how to vote based on whichever way the wind is blowing at that moment. Statesmen decide their actions based on what they believe is right. It all depends on who the leader wants to please and who he’s working for.

Who do you want to please?

Your wife? Not a bad idea. Your kids? If you think you can, go ahead. The boss? It’s not dumb to worry about what he thinks. Your friends? People-pleasing isn’t necessarily bad if your first priority is God-pleasing.

Don’t you want to hear the Lord Jesus say, as you stand before Him on judgment day:

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.” (Matt. 25:21, NIV)?

It’s when people pleasing gets in the way of God pleasing that we have some big problems. Big problems.

Are you living to please Him? Are you obeying Him? Are you serving others because you love Him? Are you asking His will in every decision you make?

I want to please Him. And besides, I sure wouldn’t want God to clean behind my ears!

Have a super week in the Lord,


Think about it

“Chinese proverb—man who says it’s impossible shouldn’t interrupt the man who is doing it.” (Alton Garrison)

Prayer team

  • Here’s a praise report. About 3 years ago you prayed for a young minister who was having some serious problems in his marriage. He was out of the ministry because of it. You prayed with a lot of others. It’s been a long process of healing and restoration but the first of September the couple re-enters the ministry fulltime.
  • Pray for a French missionary in Lebanon who has a heart for Syria. They have had bombs fall in their city during these recent troubles. Pray for another French missionary in Jerusalem. They are confronted at times with terrorist situations
  • Pray for the city of Brignoles in the south of France. This young pastor needs someone to help in the three works where he is pastor.

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