Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
I’ve been saved since 1988, started preaching on a street corner in 1996, graduated from the Bible Institute in 1999, and have served in the ministry in one way or another since then. I’ve seen a lot during that time. The older I get in the Lord, the more I realize the importance of making sure that all that we do is 100% for the glory of Christ and Him alone. Man will disappoint you. Jesus never will. If you wish to please man, you won’t make it far. If your goal is just to please Jesus, you’ll live the happiest life available this side of the grave.
The late Jack Wood once said, “There are two things the brethren will never forgive you for. Failure and success.” He is so right! With some folks, you can’t win. Whatever you do will never be good enough.
If you lead many sinners to Christ, some will say that you are just into numbers and they’ll question how genuine were the professions of faith. If you don’t win many, they’ll say you lack God’s power in your life.
If you have a big church, they’ll say you compromised. If you don’t, they’ll say you’re lazy and not doing enough.
If you ask for help financially, they’ll say you’re a “moochinary”. If you don’t, they’ll say you lack faith and humility.
If you preach a long message, they’ll say that you are excessive and that you repeat yourself too much. If you preach a short message, they’ll say you don’t have much to say because you didn’t study enough.
If you raise your voice while you preach, they’ll say that you’re sensational and extreme. If you don’t, they’ll say that you’re boring and uninspiring.
If you preach hard against sin, they’ll call you a self-righteous Pharisee. If you don’t, they’ll say you’re a liberal and too soft.
If you preach the Gospel in the church, they’ll say that the Gospel is for the folks on the outside not the inside. If you don’t, they’ll say you don’t care for souls and you’re not sensitive to lost people who visit the church.
If your church is loud and lively, they’ll say its full of emotionalism. If not, they’ll say its dead and dried up.
If you teach lots of doctrine, they’ll complain that the “letter killeth” (never mind that they’re taking that verse out of context). If not, they’ll say you’re shallow.
If you use the internet and social media for your ministry, they’ll say that you just want attention and to be famous. If you don’t, they’ll complain that you don’t communicate enough and may even have something to hide.
If you liberally give, they’ll say you’re trying to buy folks and that you have an agenda. If you don’t give as much as some, they’ll call you “stingy”, a “tightwad”, and a “skinflint”.
If you believe in and practice church discipline against those who are immoral, heretical, or who try to cause division in the church, they’ll call you a tyrant and a dictator who doesn’t believe in love, forgiveness, and restoration. If not, those who are hurt by others who are immoral, heretical, and divisive, will call you a pushover and a weak leader.
If you take a strong stand against false doctrine, they’ll say that you focus too much on issues and not enough on the Gospel. If you don’t, they’ll say that you’re too intimidated to deal with the issues.
If you’re zealous about something, they’ll say you’re young and that “you’ll learn”. If not, they’ll say you’re old and you learned too much.
When you first get saved, they say that you’re just going through a “phase”. Twenty years later, they’ll say that you’ve gone off the deep end, that you’re brain-washed, and are now part of a cult.
If you accept the challenge to fight Goliath, Eliab will accuse you of pride and trying to be a big shot (1 Samuel 17:28). If not, they’ll blame everything on you for letting the enemy win when you are the Lord’s anointed.
There will always be criticism. With most critics, you’ll never win no matter what you do. They will question EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that you do. However, criticism comes with the territory. Such is life. Learn how to deal with it correctly and gracefully. If not, you won’t make it. If you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Learn to divorce yourself from public opinion. Learn to accept the fact that you can’t please everyone. Examine your own heart and make sure your motive is pure and your cause is righteous. Then, just focus on pleasing Jesus and you’ll never be disappointed.