“Not everyone is going to like you.” I have had to say these words to my kids often. One child of mine in particular has been learning this lesson recently. I have shared with her that sometimes people don’t like us because we have wronged them, and we can try to remedy that. However, some people will not like us no matter what we do to try to please them.
Whether you are a child on the playground, a busy parent, employee, boss, church member, church leader, etc.; there will likely be someone who likes you and someone who will not. We all have different personalities, weaknesses, quirks, and opinions.
I found myself pondering this thought today, and I was so encouraged when the Lord spoke to me about this very thing today while reading my Bible.
Mark 4:3-9 says, “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on His head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but Me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.”
The woman in this story had a box of very precious ointment which she used to anoint Jesus. The Bible says, “She hath done what she could.” I underlined that today in my Bible. Wow! Do I ever need to remember that! Sometimes I do all that I can, and it seems I fail to please. You don’t have to please everyone to get it right. Do what YOU can for the Lord. What you are called to do, may not be what someone else is called to do. We all have different talents and abilities that God has given us to use. Leave the measuring up to Him. He is Who we should be striving to please.
Giving this box to be sold for the poor would have been a good thing, but Jesus recognized the importance and sacrifice of her gift in spite of others grumbling on how they thought it could have been done better. These men had set “good works” as a priority over the actual will of God, over the precious Savior Who was sitting right there with them.
We can easily get discouraged in our service for the Lord. Maybe you teach a class, and someone has criticized your lessons; or you sing, and someone has commented that so-and-so sings better; or you invited someone to church, only to be laughed at or have a door slammed in your face. Don’t let criticism take away your desire or your joy in serving the Lord. Learn from your mistakes, but know that some people can’t be pleased no matter what you do. Remember, Jesus sees your heart. He recognizes your sacrifices. He loves you no matter what. The woman who anointed Jesus was looked down upon by some, but in verse 9, we see others recognized her good work for the Lord. Don’t give up!