I am a people pleaser…I have been my whole life. I’ve heard myself apologize for bumping into a mannequin! I say “Excuse Me” to our dog. I won’t tell the waitress if my order is wrong…I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I remember meeting my husband’s parents for the first time. My future mother-in-law made a pie for dessert and offered me some. It was a kind of pie that I do not like but I took a piece because I didn’t want to offend her. When she asked me how I liked it I answered, “I’m sure it would be really good if you like that sort of thing!” 🙂 I just want people to like me!
That’s a hard way to be when you are married to the pastor. You have a whole congregation full of people you have to try to please! Even in a small church that’s not an easy task! We had a group of people stop coming to Sunday night services because they didn’t want to listen to just another sermon. So, my husband changed the format to be more of an in-depth teaching time where people could take notes and ask questions. Those same people complained that they didn’t like taking notes and the material was too boring. So, we changed it to a video series from speakers like Francis Chan and David Nasser with group discussions afterwards. Still they complained and refused to come because “we don’t come to church to watch movies.” We finally asked them what would make them come to Sunday evening services and they said they would come if the pastor would just preach another sermon… Some people are never satisfied.
This is not just common in church, though. My husband and I enjoy eating at Moe’s. Moe’s is a great place! They have yummy Tex-Mex food and good prices, but the best part is when you walk in all the workers shout “Hey! Welcome to Moe’s!” I. love. that. It makes me feel like they like me! As you leave, they also call out to you saying things like “Thanks for coming!” or “See you again soon!” One day we were eating lunch at Moe’s and two nicely-dressed ladies began to walk out the door. One of the girls working behind the counter called out “Have a nice day!” The ladies exchanged a look, turned around, and confronted the girl. “What did you say to me? I want to speak to your manager!” The worker was stunned and tried to apologize for whatever she had done to offend these customers, but to no avail. The manager was brought in to resolve the situation. The lady pointed her finger at the girl worker and said “She told me to ‘Have a nice day’! Do you always let your workers speak to customers in such a way? I want you to fire her right now!” The ladies eventually left and we were able to speak to the manager and assure him that his worker had not done anything worthy of being fired, and everything seemed to work out alright. But as we were leaving he called out “Thanks for your help. Have a nice day!” My husband turned to me and said “Did you hear that? He told me to have a nice day! I am so mad!” 🙂
A favorite chorus we used to sing in Bible college goes like this:
“I’ll be content to serve an audience of One
Only His approval counts when all is said and done.
And this is my prayer, when the race is finally run
I want to hear ‘Well done’ from the audience of One.”
You can’t please everybody…but that is not nearly as important as pleasing God. Choose to live your life for Him no matter what.
Have a nice day! 🙂
PS…Here’s a song that I’ve enjoyed ever since that day at Moe’s. I listen to it when I start getting frustrated with people. It makes me smile. http://youtu.be/9O4JJYQWWTo