Anyone who has led anything at all for any amount of time learn very quickly that not all people will agree with you, support you, or help you with the task UNLESS you have done exactly what they want in every detail. Even then, it is like walking a tightrope over a pit of lions. There will always be that one who says, “Yeah, but…” This is what we call a People Pleasing Leader. When we fall to the ways of people pleasing in our leadership, we learn very quickly that you will never please everyone. Even when you do what they say you should do, when it fails, they blame you first of all! The people you tried to please turn on you quickly for these are people who want what they want, not what God wants. Their lives demand fulfillment by your work to please them. This is very shallow living on their part and ours, but it is even more destructive in your leading abilities. It is also stresses your physical and emotional health.
So, ask God. God what do you think is right? What do YOU want me to do? Where do you want me to go? Who will go with me? What do you want me to say? This thinking, taught to us by Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, will not please the crowd. (See the ministry of Jesus in the Gospels). But, who will give you more peace, wisdom, clarity, insight and understanding? The crowd or the Creator of all?
PAUSE TO PRAY
Who do I want to worship and please most of all? Will I allow the hecklers who reside on the sidelines of the work to tell me what to do while I’m doing it? This happened to Nehemiah who led the people of God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. God led him in the work he called him to be and do. God encouraged him to encourage the people doing the work throughout the process. God led him to finish the work. Here is the theme of how God works. God leads us. We follow. Peace is a result. No regrets in doing what God wants. There is no one like our God. Why please anyone else?
David survives the hecklers, discouragers, bullies, thugs, false accusers, gossipers, and the taunting jeers that try to bring him down. He makes a very important statement in the middle of it all, after throwing in his ideas of what God should do to his enemies, “DO WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT, GOD”.
This needs to be our statement of declaration to God today, right now, while we wait to see who our nation’s leader will be, as we continue to walk through a pandemic watching our friends succumb to it, while we walk through the minefields of tedious relationships with others who demand our allegiance to them while the whole world suffers without knowing Jesus. Lord, help us. Help us to we fight the battle of temptation to please people rather than God. Do what you think is right, God.
We need to decide this day whom we will serve, worship, please and adore completely and unreservedly. Only then, like David at the end of his lament, can we raise our hallelujahs! Let the praises flow…to God alone! Yes, do what you think is right, God!
Your ways are higher than our thinking. Please do what you think is right in my life.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 35, The Message
A David Psalm
35 1-3 Harass these hecklers, God,
punch these bullies in the nose.
Grab a weapon, anything at hand;
stand up for me!
Get ready to throw the spear, aim the javelin,
at the people who are out to get me.
Reassure me; let me hear you say,
“I’ll save you.”
4-8 When those thugs try to knife me in the back,
make them look foolish.
Frustrate all those
who are plotting my downfall.
Make them like cinders in a high wind,
with God’s angel working the bellows.
Make their road lightless and mud-slick,
with God’s angel on their tails.
Out of sheer cussedness they set a trap to catch me;
for no good reason they dug a ditch to stop me.
Surprise them with your ambush—
catch them in the very trap they set,
the disaster they planned for me.
9-10 But let me run loose and free,
celebrating God’s great work,
Every bone in my body laughing, singing, “God,
there’s no one like you.
You put the down-and-out on their feet
and protect the unprotected from bullies!”
11-12 Hostile accusers appear out of nowhere,
they stand up and badger me.
They pay me back misery for mercy,
leaving my soul empty.
13-14 When they were sick, I dressed in black;
instead of eating, I prayed.
My prayers were like lead in my gut,
like I’d lost my best friend, my brother.
I paced, distraught as a motherless child,
hunched and heavyhearted.
15-16 But when I was down
they threw a party!
All the nameless riffraff of the town came
chanting insults about me.
Like barbarians desecrating a shrine,
they destroyed my reputation.
17-18 God, how long are you going
to stand there doing nothing?
Save me from their brutalities;
everything I’ve got is being thrown to the lions.
I will give you full credit
when everyone gathers for worship;
When the people turn out in force
I will say my Hallelujahs.
19-21 Don’t let these liars, my enemies,
have a party at my expense,
Those who hate me for no reason,
winking and rolling their eyes.
No good is going to come
from that crowd;
They spend all their time cooking up gossip
against those who mind their own business.
They open their mouths
in ugly grins,
Mocking, “Ha-ha, ha-ha, thought you’d get away with it?
We’ve caught you hands down!”
22 Don’t you see what they’re doing, God?
You’re not going to let them
Get by with it, are you? Not going to walk off
without doing something, are you?
23-26 Please get up—wake up! Tend to my case.
My God, my Lord—my life is on the line.
Do what you think is right, God, my God,
but don’t make me pay for their good time.
Don’t let them say to themselves,
“Ha-ha, we got what we wanted.”
Don’t let them say,
“We’ve chewed him up and spit him out.”
Let those who are being hilarious
at my expense
Be made to look ridiculous.
Make them wear donkey’s ears;
Pin them with the donkey’s tail,
who made themselves so high and mighty!
27-28 But those who want
the best for me,
Let them have the last word—a glad shout!—
and say, over and over and over,
“God is great—everything works
together for good for his servant.”
I’ll tell the world how great and good you are,
I’ll shout Hallelujah all day, every day.
TRUTH: Do what you think is right, God. Only then will we have peace no matter what is happening around us. “God is great—everything works together for good for his servant.” Shout Hallelujah to the King of kings and Lord of lords all day, every day!
Proverb 15:29-33, The Message
God keeps his distance from the wicked;
he closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.
30 A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart,
and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle.
31 Listen to good advice if you want to live well,
an honored guest among wise men and women.
32 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny;
an obedient, God-willed life is spacious.
33 Fear-of-God is a school in skilled living—
first you learn humility, then you experience glory.
WISDOM: Live large. Please God. Be obedient. “…a God-willed life is spacious”. First humility, then glory.
Do what you think is right.
In Jesus Name, Amen