A few days ago while paying my meal bill at Cracker Barrel, I looked over to my right and saw this sign. Customer service is number one for any business, and usually Cracker Barrel does a good job of reaching that goal. Also, I understand why it’s needed in the business world.
As I waited for the cashier to ring up another order, my mind began to whirl about those two words placed in such a prominent place in the restaurant . . . “Pleasing People.”
Can you really? How many people are there in the world?
Alright, let’s be fair, what’s the average amount of people who walk through the doors of any Cracker Barrel on any given day? So take that number and consider how many likes and dislikes each person has. Then add to that the changing nature of every man. Then consider what each individual desires in reference to food, food & beverage, food, beverage, and dessert, food and store products, and that food orders are changed often. I’m worn out already thinking about it!
So I ask again, can you really please people? Does the Word of God command us to please people?
Seeking to please people in a fallen, sinful world is like a gerbil-on-a-wheel! Think about it:
- If pleasing people is your standard for living, then you have made people your god. You shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3).
- Pleasing people promotes selfish living. We are exhorted to serve others (Matthew 23:11), but when we let our children or other adults be the standard for living, we are encouraging their selfishness . . . and ours.
- Pleasing people brings great frustration due to the many perspectives and desires on the part of those you are trying to please. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24).
- Pleasing people can become your personal self-esteem barometer. If people like what you are doing, then you are a success and vice versa. You forget that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God (Psalm 139:14) and as a believer, accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
- Pleasing people leads to an ungodly, disobedient comparison game. For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12).
- Pleasing people is a stress-producer. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (John 14:27). Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:5-6)
- Pleasing people will always leave you with a wrong view of God.
The only thing that will overcome living to please people is to have a correct view of who you are in the sight of God. At the moment of your salvation, you are accepted by God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6). Your past, present and future sins have been paid for and forgiven by Christ taking your place on the cross (1 Peter 2:18-24). Therefore, you are justified by His blood (Romans 3:23-25; 5:1-8), and you have peace with God. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding (Ephesians 1:7-8).
Now, you no longer have to live your life thinking you have to please God to get Him to love you, reward you or bless you. You are already accepted in His sight through Christ (Ephesians 1:6); you are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10); and you have a Shepherd Who leads you all the way to Glory (Psalm 23). Therefore, we have joy in pleasing our Heavenly Father because of Who and What He is and because His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).
When do we not enjoy pleasing Him? When we want to please ourself or others for wrong motives.
Paul, speaking about the gospel, said, For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).
Scripture is full of instruction on how to treat others, but it warns us not to be in the people-pleasing business.
Good-luck, Cracker Barrel!