I had the pleasure of speaking with a good friend of mine over the weekend. She recently married the man of her dreams…I’ve seen them together, and I cannot imagine her with another man.
While we were talking, she was telling me about some potential career opportunities that have come her way. If I told you what they were, you’d probably think I was making this stuff up.
The dilemma that she faces is that some people might not understand her decision to take the oppotunities that are put on her plate. By some people, I mean the church. The church has written all of these moral/social codes that they want their people to follow. Things that cannot be found in the Bible, but codes that one must follow to be a part of the club. I know these codes inside and out. I used to follow these codes. Until the day that I realized that they made me an enigma to the world. Not in a good way.
I had a conversation with my friend in San Antonio about a college that his friend attended. They weren’t allowed to dance, drink alcohol or watch R-rated movies. This frustrated him. He asked me, “Deneen, how can people who attend this school relate to people like me? Don’t those rules make it a club?” I was hard-pressed to answer his question. Frankly, all I could do was agree.
Back to my other friend. She was seriously torn about the decision that she may have to make. I asked her a simple question. Who are you trying to please? You can’t try to please the church because the rules change with the newest book or theory. You can’t try to please people, because people turn on you quicker than you can say boo. The only One you can see to please is God.
And let’s be honest. Jesus wasn’t a safe guy to hang with. How many times did He have to duck out of a gathering because someone wanted to kill him? And let’s be honest. He didn’t hang with the civilized. His friends were fishermen, tax collectors and prostitutes. If he were alive today, He’d probably be on the streets of North Camden, NJ, talking to the drug dealers and buyers. He’d be in South Central LA, hanging with the gang members; He’d be in Africa tending to the needs of those sticken with AIDS or loving on the child soldiers, or in a container ship owned by human traffickers, healing their wounded bodies and souls.
So, I ask you the question. Who are you trying to please?