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Time Out: What’s so bad about being a people-pleaser? (Aaron)

Topic / Time Out

Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)

Everyone likes to be liked. We all want to be accepted. Most people are more interested in doing what is popular rather than what is right. Some people are especially susceptible to peer pressure. Like Peter, they have a hard time standing for the truth if they know they may be disliked for it. Aaron, Moses’ brother, was such a man.

Aaron was a nice enough guy. Everyone liked him. He seemed to have the gift of gab. That’s why Moses insisted Aaron be the spokesman for God and not he himself. Aaron was easy to like because he made himself likeable. He wouldn’t do or say anything to offend anyone. That’s why when the Jews asked him to make a golden calf to worship because Moses had been on Mt. Sinai too long and wasn’t coming back, he went along and did it. That’s why when Moses did return and held him accountable for this sin he blamed the people and the fire: “I just threw some gold into the fire and out came this golden calf!” And that’s why when Miriam attacked Moses in jealousy Aaron went along. After all, resisting big sister Miriam was not something Aaron was able to do.

There’s nothing wrong with being liked, with doing what needs to be done to please others, with being concerned about what others think – as long as the “others” is God Himself and no one else. When we have to choose between pleasing Him and pleasing others we must always choose Him. Peter himself went wrong here when he denied the Lord 3 times. He doesn’t put on the immediate pressure others do, but what He desires is always for our best as well as his. Jesus Himself said we are in trouble if everyone likes everything we do (Luke 6:26). Others just think about themselves, not us – but God has what is best for us in mind always. So watch out today for places where you give in to please others and remember God is watching. So who do you want to please today? Make sure it is God!

Scripture
Luke 6:26, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.”

James 4:4, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

John 15:19-20, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.'”

Reflect

  • Do you have a strong need for the approval of others?
  • Has it ever gotten you into trouble? Has it caused you to do or say something you shouldn’t have?
  • What should you do to not be overly influenced by what others think or say?

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Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!


Posted on December 1, 2008

  • Amen. Great thoughts. Working in the church is tough sometimes…seems like too often it’s a balancing act between what needs to be done and what others want to be done. It’s easy to be an ‘Aaron’ and certainly makes you popular and might even give you a decent amount of job security, but are we really doing our job if we’re serving to please man rather than God? Thanks for the thoughtful encouragement/reminder.

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