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.
We smile but this story makes a good point: We can’t please everybody, and if we try we end up carrying a heavy burden. Well-meaning Christians may offer us advice, and much of it is valuable. But when we try to do everything other believers want us to do, we can easily become frustrated and confused. That’s why we need to remember that the One we must please above all other is Christ. And we do that by obeying God’s Word.
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