The Bible often reminds us of the Christian calling to please those with whom we interact from day to day. Servants should please their masters (1Tim.6:1), children their parents (Col.3:20), citizens their governing authorities (Rom.13:1), parents should parent without exasperating their children (Eph.6:4), and the list goes on.
The Bible, though, is filled with stories of godly men and women placed in situations where they are left with no righteous choice but to disappoint the people in their lives. Jesus himself is likely the most conspicuous example of disappointing and even angering the people he would otherwise want to please. The nation’s leaders didn’t like him (Mk.8:31), his disciples were periodically discouraged by his decisions (Mt.16:22), at times his siblings thought he was crazy (Mk.3:21), and even at age twelve his parents were frustrated and distressed by the zealous pursuit of his righteous priorities (Lk.2:48).
While some would like to tell us that living godly lives will make everyone in our lives happy, the truth is that living out kingdom-first priorities is bound to let some people in our everyday lives down. The question for Christians is, are we willing to keep God and his agenda first, while keeping the people we love second? Of course we’d like to please both the God we love and the people we love. But in a fallen mixed-up world it won’t always be possible. Let’s keep that in mind. And always keep first things first.