"Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work." Colossians 3:22-24 MSG
The other day, a young man came and asked for prayer. He wanted prayer for his attitude with his dad. He is the only son in his family so when his dad is gone a lot, he ends up doing the "man stuff" around the house. But then, when his dad does come home, he feels like his dad doesn't appreciate all that he has done because instead of complimenting him on what is done, the dad says things such as: "You need to do this," or "Have you done that?" So this son is becoming resentful and disheartened.
Do you relate to this young man? Do you have someone in your life that you strive to please and at times, it seems that this person will never be pleased? That no matter what you would do, it is never good enough? Do you find yourself feeling resentful?
The reason that I love these verses is that it releases you from the burden of people pleasing. I have a tendency to fall into that trap and believe me, it is a trap. Sure we want to to our best for those we love. Yes, as Christians, we should do our best for those that we work for. But what we must be careful of is not to get so wrapped up in the need to please that person, that it steals the joy of us doing for that person. Does that make sense? Simply put--people are people right? No matter how much we love them or don't love them. No matter if they are a stranger to us or our best friend--they are people And people will not always respond to what we do, the way we need or want or think them should.
Does that make them "bad" people? No. It just needs to be recognize that this is a fact. Have you ever thought that maybe you also have hurt or discouraged someone because of the way you have reacted to them? Does this make you a "bad" person? Of course not. It just means that this is one of those facts of life that we must know is just going to be and you have to rise above.
That is why we need to go the next level and not do it for necessarily for the person that is standing in front of you, but offer it up to God. You see, God is the same yesterday, today or tomorrow. He is not swayed by emotions, circumstances or a "bad day". He will treat you with the wisdom of someone that is secure and above His circumstances.
Because in the end, isn't that Who we need to please anyway?
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Philippians 1:27 NIV