May 20: The Problem With People Pleasing

Read 1 Samuel 21:1-22:23

Sometimes life’s circumstances force us to make choices that put us at odds with other people.

Although we read it earlier, Jonathan made one such decision in chapter 20. Jonathan had received inside information about Saul’s intentions to execute David. He found himself in a real pickle. This information must have been coupled with strong emotion. After all, Saul was the king of Israel. And, perhaps more difficult, Saul was his own father. That sense of blood loyalty must have run deep. Meanwhile, David was Jonathan’s best friend. This relationship also represented a strong loyalty.

Although Jonathan must have felt torn between two now competing relationships, he chose not to ride the fence. One of these men was God’s choice. The other had been rejected. The one man represented righteousness. The other represented self-serving sin. One man was committed to the ways of God. The other pursued his own desires. So Jonathan made a choice that ultimately put him at odds with Saul, the very man who had been responsible for giving him life.

If you are one who tends to want to please people, realize it is not always possible or desirable.

Although one of the characters is different in chapters 21 and 22, the storyline is similar. A man, this time the priest Ahimelek, is faced with the difficult decision of offering aid to David, knowing full well that Saul had intentions of putting David to death. But, once again, Ahimelek knew that the hand of God was on David and that it had been withdrawn from Saul. Knowing that, Ahimelek offered David assistance. Though he likely did not realize it at the time, that act of compassion would cost him his life and the life of 84 other priests in Nob.

Again, if you are one who tends to be a people pleaser, realize keeping everyone happy is not always possible or desirable. In making a stand for righteousness, you may experience negative repercussions. But even the bad outcomes do not mean you have made the wrong choice!

sbk

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