We Aims to Please

Do we, really? In a retail environment, the salesperson certainly wants to please the customer.  In work, we want to please our Boss. At home, pleasing the spouse isn’t even a choice- you’d better!

But what about pleasing God? Do we put as much effort into pleasing God as we do to please people more “directly” influencing our lives? Maybe I should say more “visibly” influencing our lives, since God is in charge of everything and influences our lives from before we are even born, but He is invisible and people are visible; they are tangible and always in sight. Not in spiritual sight, but in physical sight; God is in the heavens but people are where we are.

In my experience I have seen people who do almost anything for someone that they believe can help them attain what they want in the world, but they are pretty much cavalier about pleasing God. Don’t they realize that what they have in the world, no matter how much of it they own, will be someone else’s when they die? That point is well made in Kohelet (Ecclesiastes.)  Then they will only have the treasure they have already stored in heaven to spend eternity with. Think about it: would you rather live in a mansion for 30 years and a shack forever, or would you rather have a humble home for 30 years and a mansion forever?


I would like to offer an excerpt from my book (to buy the book, hardcover or downloadable, see the right margin) that briefly discusses how to please God. If you find this interesting or useful to you, please consider buying the book.

“Then tell me how to please the Lord”, you may ask. Sorry, but I will not tell you what to do, or (for that matter) what not to do. That would make me just like a religion. What I will tell you is what the Lord tells us. And the Lord tells us that to please Him we must obey His commandments. I will give you 2 places where He does this, although He tells and shows us this throughout the entire Bible. The places I will mention are in the Tanakh and in the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant).

   In the Tanakh go to Deuteronomy 28. This is the chapter where God gives us the listing of His blessings for obedience. You can see He blesses us going in and out, home and away, pretty much 24/7/365. Clearly, obedience pleases Him. The other place is in the Gospels where Yeshua (Jesus) tells us that if we love Him we will obey His commandments. Everyone is pleased by having people they love show that love back to them, and Yeshua is telling us that showing our love for Him (which must please Him) is through obedience.

   Yeshua makes it even easier to demonstrate obedience. He tells us that the two most important commandments are to love the Lord and to love our neighbor. If we simply do this than everything else falls into place.

For the record, this isn’t a new idea. Yeshua was quoting Tanakh; in fact, there is nothing “new” in the “New Covenant”.  It is all strictly and completely from Torah and the other Old Covenant writings. Every single reference Shaul makes, as well as John and James (Ya’akov), is from the only scripture that existed at that time, which is the Tanakh.

    So there it is. How do we please our God? Simple- follow His commandments. That’s it. He doesn’t say to follow all the regulations and traditions that the religion to which we belong adds or takes from His word. He simply says do as He says. He even tells us that what we should do is not so hard to do. It is not so far away that we need someone to bring it to us, or so deep we can’t see it, or so high we can’t reach it. He says it is right in front of us, within our grasp. True, we can’t do everything as He wants us to do it; we are sinners and we are sinful, and our very nature makes living a perfect life impossible. That’s why He promised a Messiah. But Hey!, that’s no reason not to try!

Brothers and Sisters, please hear me now: God has no religion. His Word, His commandments, His Blessings, His House of Worship, His Messiah and His Salvation is for ALL people! Just as His judgment will be on ALL people.

I think it is important to remember, especially, that last sentence: His judgement will be on ALL people! And that judgement will be based on our heart and our actions, but it will not be based on what others tell us is right or wrong.

You need to understand (and I believe the Bible supports me in this) that God will judge fairly and rightly, but what He judges us on will be what we did and not on what others told us to do. That means if the Rabbi, Priest, Pastor, or whomever leads your religious organization tells you to do something that is contrary to God’s command, you will be responsible for your actions. And using that old, “I was just following orders” excuse won’t carry water with the Lord. He told us how he wants us to worship Him, how we should treat each other, what is important and what isn’t. And if you aren’t sure how to tell what is important and what isn’t, I will make it easy for you: if it is in the Bible, it is important. And, if it is important you had better know about it, right? So read the book! Don’t be a dope and just believe what anyone tells you the book says- read it for yourself. Read it for yourself because you will be held accountable for what is in it!

Think about that: in fact, don’t waste time thinking, just do. Read the Bible, start today. Only a chapter a day: do it at lunch, do it when you get home, do it before you get ready for work. Or do what I do- keep your Bible in the bathroom. No one bothers me there, and I have a guaranteed 10 minutes or so of quiet.

Please please God first, then people, if you must, but not at the expense of pleasing God. I think you wil lfind that if you concentrate on pleasing the Lord you will be surprised at how much more you will be pleasing to people.

Do You Whisper in the Hallway?

We went to Virginia Beach this past weekend to watch my niece get married. Mazel tov, Heather and Joey!!

We stayed at a nice resort hotel, with long hallways that were more like echo chambers, and everyone who passed by talked loudly, laughed loudly, let their kids scream and make noise, and always before 0700 and after 2100.

Those people showed absolutely no restraint or consideration for others, and demonstrated to their children how to be the same way.

The Bible tells us that we should treat each other as we want to be treated, and that means not only when we are in need. It means all the time, it means thinking of others instead of just doing “our own thing”, and it means setting an example for our children. Walking down the hallway in a hotel is passing by where other people may be working, sleeping at any and all hours of the day, or maybe just trying to relax watching TV. It is not the place you have casual conversations standing between the open doors of your rooms. You wanna talk, fine- go in the room. I understand that there are weddings and reunions, and people are a little tipsy and maybe forgetful that they should be quiet, but that’s no excuse.

Having a reason to explain why one is acting badly is not an excuse for doing so.

We seem to think that so long as we have an reason, that is an excuse, and others should deal with it. That may be how it works in the physical world, but from what I read in the Bible (what do you think?) God is not interested in excuses- He demands action. God demands and desires our obedience always: I say demands and desires because He knows, as has been evident since the creation of humans, that what God demands is more often not done. That’s why even though He demands our obedience, because He is compassionate and understanding He desires to see us actually obey. His laws and commandments are for our good, and His love for us is why He gives us these laws. His love also is why, despite knowing our rebellious, stiff-necked ways, He desires to see us obey. When we obey, He can give us the full measure of blessings He wants to; when we disobey, because He is holy and trustworthy, he cannot do all for us He desires to do. You see, He is God, and when he tells us that obedience is rewarded and disobedience is punished, He means what He says so by His own promises to us He cannot bless those who reject Him. He can allow blessings to fall upon everyone- as it says in the Bible,  it rains on both the just and the unjust. So, too, unrighteous people may seem to be doing really well, but in the long run, when it really, really counts, they will be losers. Ultimate, eternal losers.

In all cases, however, God will be trustworthy to bless when He says He will, and trustworthy to judge as He says we deserve to be judged. Just because we have an excuse doesn’t mean we will be excused.

Those that have ears, let them hear.

Back to the hallways:  always be thinking about others. In the midst of your joy, and despite your sorrow, consider others and their needs. You can still have a lot of fun while traveling, or even in your own home, without having to  interrupt or be bothersome to others.

Being considerate is another form of loving the Lord. Yeshua said that those who do good thing to others are doing the same to Him.  It’s easy to see that when we give food to hungry people, or donate clothing to the poor. It isn’t always as easy to see that just whispering in the hallways is also a way of doing good to Yeshua by doing good to others. It can be that simple.

Think about this next time you are in a hotel and walking to your room. Then, try to be understanding when you realize that you will, most likely, be the only one in that hotel who does.