We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4b)
The other day I was at my cousin’s wedding with my little girl, and she was have a grand time dancing. I’m not going to lie: it was incredibly hilarious and hideous at the same time. As a 17-month-old, I’m not sure she’d win any dancing competitions, but she gave it her all. The joy she was experiencing in the moment was contagious, and it brought smiles to all around.
Today I started thinking about the day when she gets older and doesn’t want to dance in front of people anymore because she’ll be so concerned with what others think. And then I started thinking about Jesus’ words about becoming like a child in order to enter the Kingdom of God. I thought about little Madelyn dancing, and realized how important it is to live without fear of what others think.
Pleasing crowds and pleasing God are not always mutually exclusive things, but when it comes to choosing one over the other, Paul found it valuable to choose God. Probably a wise choice.
Unfortunately, the older we get, the easier it is to look to the crowd’s approval and sacrifice doing the thing we know is right so we can be accepted by others.
Do you spend your time trying to please the crowd? It’s not worth it. In the end, they’ll reject you just like they eventually reject everyone else. Spend your time trying to please God, and you won’t ever regret it.
Father, thank You for the lessons You teach us through children. Thank You for Madelyn’s dancing and for her carefree spirit. As she grows older, let the cries of the crowd be meaningless to her. Let me, as her father, set an example of living to please You rather than those around so that You may be glorified.