• 2014-03-17-12-03-05103719515
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donkey2105The story is told of a man and his grandson traveling down the road, walking and leading a donkey. 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." So the boy climbed off the donkey and his grandfather climbed on.

The next person they met said, "I just can't believe a grown man would ride and make a little boy walk." So the man pulled the boy up and they rode the donkey together. That is, until they met another man who said, "I never saw anything so cruel in all my life -- two human beings riding on one poor defenseless donkey!"

Down the road a ways, they met a couple of men. After they passed, one of the men turned to the other and said, "Did you ever before see two fools carrying a donkey?"

The point is: You can't please everyone! And it can be very frustrating to even try to do so because it's impossible. The truth of the matter is, even if we could please everyone, we shouldn't. In fact, trying to please others can distract from the One we should be pleasing, if we're not careful.

Though Paul was certainly mindful of the feelings of others, he wrote: "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10, NIV)

Living our lives so as to receive the praise of people around us will only get us into trouble. I think of the chief rulers who "believed in Him [Jesus], but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." (John 12:42-43). When we become attached to public opinion and pleasing others around us, we will eventually end up denying God.

Have you found lately that everyone isn't pleased with your decisions? Don't lose any sleep over it, as long as you're seeking to please the only ONE that really matters!

Alan Smith