by Dr. Paul Chappell
"Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free."
Rather than listening to what a critic says about your life, listen to what God says about your life.
An old fable that has been passed down for generations tells about an elderly man who was traveling with a boy and a donkey. As they walked through a village, the man was leading the donkey and the boy was walking behind. The townspeople said the old man was a fool for not riding, so to please them he climbed up on the animal's back. When they came to the next village, the people said the old man was cruel to let the child walk while he enjoyed the ride. So, to please them, he got off and set the boy on the animal's back and continued on his way. In the third village, people accused the child of being lazy for making the old man walk, and the suggestion was made that they both ride. So the man climbed on and they set off again. In the fourth village, the townspeople were indignant at the cruelty to the donkey because he was made to carry two people. The frustrated man was last seen carrying the donkey down the road. The moral of the story? We can't please everybody, and if we try we end up carrying a heavy burden.
Too many people in our world are living to please other people. They feel pressure to please parents, siblings, friends, critics, fans, fellow church members, and others; yet many of them are failing at keeping everyone happy. Ask anyone-from the richest man to the poorest man on earth-if they live without criticism and the answer is no.
So why do many people try so hard to please others? The answer may be found in the answer of a circus actor. This man's act (being shot out of a canon) had been performed twelve hundred times when a reporter asked him why he signed up for the dangerous jOB. His reply: "Do you know what it's like to feel the applause of 60,000 people? That's why I did it!"
People live for the pat on the back, the applause, the "jOB well done" from their peers. Their actions are often guided by what others want. Yet God tells us that our service should be done not to please others, but to please Him, "Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord...."
You will face critics in your life. We all have people who are displeased with what we do, say, or how we behave. Too many people take criticism to heart and allow it to determine their actions. Rather than listening to what a critic says about your life, listen to what God says about your life.
When someone criticizes your actions, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I OBeying God's Word?
- Am I honoring God with my life?
- Am I faithfully living the life He has for me?
- Is God pleased with my actions?
If you can answer yes to each question, then ignore the critics and continue faithfully serving God. The opinion of critics will be of little importance when you reach Heaven. All that will matter is the opinion of your Heavenly Father.