Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pleasing the Boss

"Yet all this does not satisfy me every time I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate." - Haman, in Esther 5:13, NASB
I looked in to a mirror Sunday morning. Yes, I'm sure I looked at a literal mirror while getting ready for church. But it was later  - at church - where I really saw myself in a mirror. The mirror was from the book of Esther.

I was visiting my friend Steve in Tallahassee and worshiped at Element 3 Church. The teaching was from Esther as they were walking through the book in a series. As Pastor Mark was teaching from chapter 5, I saw something that I recognized.

Go back and read the chapter. Here's the short version: The devious and evil right hand man of the king was plotting to have the entire Jewish race exterminated. In particular, there was a Jew named Mordecai who really got under his skin. Mordecai's cousin Esther was the queen and (no one knowing she was a Jew) she was working on a way to persuade the king to spare her kin. In order to make her petition, she invited the king and Haman to a banquet. Haman got the big head about his invitation and began to brag, not knowing Esther's true intent. And that's where we come to the key moment, quoted in the verse at the top of this post.

In all his boasting, Haman said that he couldn't enjoy it because of this one dude Mordecai, whose presence mocked him. Mordecai didn't show him the respect he thought he deserved, and so he could not enjoy any of the blessings of his life.

How could this be?? You mean to tell me that one person's opinion - a person who he considered to be unworthy of even his contempt, could ruin everything?

Apparently so. Haman was a people-pleaser.

And there's my mirror.

I look at myself and I see someone that wants everyone to be happy. All the time. If there is a way to please everyone, that is the decision I gravitate toward. And if it just isn't possible, my natural tendency is to stress over it.

There are some people who don't give a rip what anyone thinks. They just do what pleases them and everyone else can just go....jump in the lake. Sometimes, I envy them. Because like Haman, I pay way too much attention to that one person who doesn't like what I do.

How unlike our King Jesus. The one who said that his only goal was to please his Father. The one who told us not to fear man who could destroy the body but to fear "him who can destroy the body and soul in hell." At every step, his focus was never on the applause of the crowd, but on the on the single handclap of his Father in heaven.

And so I pray. I pray for forgiveness when I get distracted from the only audience that really matters. And I pray that he will give me the wisdom to look only to him for my affirmation.

Someone once said that the goal of any job is to find out who your boss is and please him. I know who my Boss is...and so I pray that I will remember that he is the one I need to please.

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