Five Reasons You Cannot Please Everyone

A Christian leadership book mentions an example worth following in life or work:  the author of that book and his leadership team long ago set down and wrote out their core calling (or mission) as an organization.

They try new things as long as they fit in that core competency of helping people with biblical principles through their business, but they never get involved in things that do not match that their specific call.  This makes it easy to say "no" to what may be good things for some to try, but not a good fit for them.

The fact is in your life and work, you too cannot please everyone.

You must work and live with integrity and hope and kindness and faith, but that does not mean living to be beat up by people who will cause you trouble if you try to work with them.

You have to work on and have a set calling, and pursue it with passion, which both attracts people to you and also repels some others (if their passion differs).

If some things can be tried that are new or suggestions that fit into your calling, try them incrementally.  If they do not fit, it's an easy "no."

Here's five reasons you cannot please everyone:

1.) No matter your business or your work, your call is to please (or glorify) God first (see Colgate or KFC founding).  You might be an accountant, small business owner, or homemaker, but your call is first to honor God, with integrity, excellence, and purity in what you do.  Many (not all) people just will not jive with that putting God first.  They are not committed to honoring God first.  In church life, as one example, pastors see this with someone who shows up to glorify their favorite Bible study author.  If you don't use their American Bible study idol, you're not going to please them.  For that person, it's all about a person (fill in blank author) besides The Person (God) who really matters as the heavy weight.  We also as pastors in churches often share with each other how some will say they just like this music style or that, so everyone has to love their style.  Some time ago at a meeting of business leaders I met two men who I respect and know from meetings like this.  Something a church posted somewhere included a style of worship they didn't like and they wanted to tell the token pastor at the business meeting.  They could not wrap around their minds how God could be worshiped unless it was their "style."  They said at first, churches should not make it about music style, ironically.  But as the mouth speaks out of the heart, they then turned around and verbally dogged on several styles out there for worship at large in the US which were not theirs as not real worship.  They actually said God could not be worshiped in those music styles, including a comment that such music was "soul-less."  Why would someone feel in a position to judge a whole worship style?  It's about their preferences above all else.  It's because God is not first for them.  Doesn't mean they are unbelievers, in fact at least one of those mentioned is very likely a Christ follower from all indicators.  Just means they put their preferences high enough (to an idolatry level; i.e. are devoted to it above what God might be doing in some other lives for Christ) to judge others on preferences as being not true worshipers of God.  Little do they reflect that even our old styles today were once considered new soul-less forms (this cycle repeats itself, in fact, one wonders when CCM will become the old school format, what decade that will turn over).  Upon further questions just to clarify, the two men said this was their view even if that other style was done with glory of God in mind on matters of integrity or excellence or worship.  The same happens in life and work elsewhere.  Be a God pleaser not a people pleaser.  Everything else falls into place.

2.) People are just different.  On a lesser scale, even if someone affirms the way others model or strategize or sing or mix concrete, they may have a lower level preference that is just different.  Something like this is no "idol" others cling to.  At a normal preference level (not a devoted to it as God's only will level) it's just different and the mature Christian has that humility about it (or a non-Christian or seeker whom the Holy Spirit is restraining a desire to make something everything like a preference).  It is ok, for example, to build steel piers for soil one way if you honestly think and have shown it works best for foundations near your soil types, and then someone else builds them differently in Florida's sandy soil.  If you tried to make piers for everyone, you would maybe run out of money or not have a good market share trying to be everywhere.  So specializing in a preference or what works locally may bother some.  So be it, people have varied callings.  To do well you must live your calling.

3.) Some are just set in their ways.  This is not in the historical sense, but in the life of a person sense today.  The set in ways person has perpetually done the same thing in shopping, business, and choices so long that they cannot have a vision -or- do not care to have a vision, to see things differently or do differently.  In ten thousands of churches, just as an example, the way they have done it for several decades is so set, that a person will be totally ostracized and ignored if they suggest even a vision of doing things slightly differently.  Sometimes it takes a near death experience for a church (not reaching anyone, declining) or a larger removal of its set in a way core group to get a church leadership (not just pastors, oftentimes stuck in ways churches are lay-committee led) direction change.  If someone will not keep reading, keep evaluating what are ways to do what they are called to do better, keep improving, there's not much to help them in trying to please them.  In business, there are businesses that are just managed, and have no real vision or mission.  They just exist as walking shells.  It will not be nimble because people in it are not motivated either.  Now true, a few very wise organizations change the way they do things (methods), while keeping their calling through a leadership that is willing to be coached or taught.  Still, some people, some organizations, and some businesses will refuse to see reality out of fear, selfish longings, or laziness.  This very reasons is largely why there is any need for a new company or a new organization (non profit or profit) to get a vision alive again.  Many lives, or organizations, simply exist, with no clear reason except they've always done things a way and just keep managing that old way today.

4.) Some people just do not intend others moral good.  They are essentially so evil in intent (even if they smile a lot) and so generally in life and also business deals, they do not intend others well.  We need not go into reasons, but jealousy, fear, and selfish ambition are big reasons some do not intend others good.  You know who these are if you think on it in your life.  They all act the same.  This situation could be their psychological state -or- an actual evil bent of their heart.  Both do exist.  Many, many people have mental and/or sin problems that make them guided by wrong attitudes in how they interact with others.  You just muddy the waters the Bible says if you give way to such a person with bad intent and go on with them in trying to please them.  I heard a small, almost medium-sized business owner remark that he tells his employees who are all about customer service to pass up on a client who from the beginning of their dealings blames his employees for a small thing, or mentions how they have given another company a hard time.  Oh how wisdom cries out from the city walls as the Proverbs say in the Scripture.  The same can go with 100 areas of life and work about such persons.  The same certainly goes for church just as one example.  When someone visits just because they had a "beef" with a previous church or pastor or church group, that's not someone you want to trust with any role or leadership whatsoever.  They can come worship and that might be ok.  But best to encourage them to find somewhere else to go, as you will otherwise just become their newest "target" and they will keep that cycle going.  Enabling them only makes the problems an evil-hearted person intends have more effect in a group or organization later down the road.  True repentance shows up in someone who is humble and kind.  If someone is saying crazy things or being hostile from the get go or tells you about how they just did that to your neighbor, it's best to not make any attempt to please them and move on and encourage them you're not a best fit.  Someone who genuinely talks like "everyone's wrong but me" is not worth getting into any contractual or obligation agreement with no matter where, just move on so you don't feel a need to appease them to not rock the boat.  If there was genuine change in them that's another story, but most often such people just use false change as a way to manipulate the next time.  So watch out in life.

5.) God's command is to love everyone, not to please everyone.  This one is about you not having a false expectation that you need to relate to everyone.  Now you can reach out to others in ways that are not appeasement but communication of your calling.  Consider a Scriptural example of the Apostle Paul, for instance.  Paul tried to become like others only to the extent that culture would help build a bridge to his calling ( to share the good news of Jesus Christ ).  Paul remained the same person, did not compromise his passion or call, and did not compromise the gospel message.  This is equivalent to today in your company translating your content/calling into forms that are not opposed to it.  Such as translating a book into another language, taking the core competency you have to another culture for business despite different ways of greeting or hours of need or in their kind of jokes in your ads.  It's ok to reach out to people for communication without fundamentally altering who you are.  It can be loving to reach out to others, in fact.  If you truly do something that is good and moral in life or work, bringing it to others is a good thing.  (Tom's Shoes one example One for One program).  That does not mean you become someone else in order to appease someone or some group.  This is perhaps the most radical point, in that today we are asked in many cultural settings to not just accept others, but to affirm their passion or beliefs or call is our belief or way too.  But their calling might differ, and it would hijack yours into uselessness.  That's not what it means to love someone else.  What if Tom's Shoes stopped helping give a pair of shoes to poor kids because their investors wanted another nickle off every dollar, and you have to please everyone.  They would be changed in a truly negative appeasement way.  Or maybe you are in education, but someone wants you to also be an accounting firm since that would please some people who carry some weight.  No, stick with your call.  The way to love others is to do what you do best, even if in other forms.  It is not to change your passion, purpose and calling.

God bless!


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