Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Give Me What I Want

I am, by nature, a pleaser. I want people to be happy with me -- especially in my preaching. Yet I am also aware that I can't please everyone all of the time. In fact, people today tend to want "something new" about every 6 months or so, it seems.

I was reminded of that again this morning as I read from Luke 7. Jesus was contrasting his ministry to John the Baptizer's ministry. How different these two were! John preached fire and brimstone, and doesn't strike me as the kind of guy you would want to go play golf with. Jesus, on the other hand, enjoyed a social occasion and, while he preached repentance -- also extended such grace.

It appears that the people of his day were being openly critical of both John's and Jesus' style. So Jesus said, "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a durge, and you did not cry.'

"Do it our way, or we will complain." "Do it our way, or we'll withhold our contribution." "Do it our way, or we'll get someone else who will make us happy for a little while."

That's why I must constantly remind myself that I play for an audience of One. All that really matters is hearing him say, "Well done."

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