Reformed Reflections

Seek to Please God

"Why do the motorcyclists wear black jackets? Why not brown or blue? Why do executives in America prefer attaché cases, rather than the traditional briefcase? It is though they were following some model, trying to attain some ideal laid down from above." (Alvin Tofflet)

Life in any community involves many conflicting choices, many temptations to compromise and to water down convictions. It is so easy to go along with the crowd. Through T. V., radio and other news media, we have become vulnerable to claims and counter claims of a new fad or idea. We are more open today and more ready for someone to tell us what to do and how to behave. We are told that we have "become of age." We are living in the space age and must change our values and style of living. We are becoming more and more afraid to be individuals. We should not be different, like strange ducks in the community pond. We are trying to please everybody lest we lose popularity. We don't want to be considered as odd. We want to do what the Romans do, even if all the Romans want to jump over the cliff. When a new article comes on the market, good or bad, everybody must try it, lest they aren't considered to be with it. Even in politics, the question is not "What is just?" But "What does the community think?" And on that basis, policies are being manufactured.

Most of us think that we are quite broadminded. We don't take things so seriously anymore as in the past. We are modern - you know. But the fact of the matter is "What we think is broadmindedness may be a conscience being stretched out of shape." Isn't it true that our standards, even what we consider to be Christian standards, are shaped mostly by the community?

Shall I please the community? I don't want to be too different. What will my neighbours say if I buy this or do that? But conforming to public opinion is not the best of choices. Conforming to public opinion is losing your identity as an individual before the Holy God. The question cannot be "What does the community say?"

Shall I please my friends? To please your friends may win you popularity, , but it isn't always right. Friendship is very precious. But friends can occasionally lead you astray.

Shall I please myself? This might be beneficial on the surface. But we aren't always right either. We can be really biased in our own favour, and rationalize away wrong doings.

Shall I please God? This is the right question to ask, but a most difficult one. To conform to the Biblical way of thinking and life style may cost you popularity. But it will be soul satisfying. And you will have that inner peace, that comes to those who seek to please God. To whom have you been conforming? Paul the apostle said ". . it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or any human court. I do not even judge myself... it is the Lord who judges me."

Johan D. Tangelder
February, 1972