You Can't Please All the People
All of the Time


“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't …” … please all the people all of the time” (Poet John Lydgate as made famous by Abraham Lincoln).
white glove test
You Can't Please All the People All of the Time

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Have you ever known someone that no matter what you did, you could never please them? A critical fault finder – like the stereotypical critical mother-in-law who walks around your house with white gloves on looking for dust bunnies under the bed and anything she can pick on to have a go at you. I had a friend who was nice as pie to people until she could find out something she could criticize you about, some grey area in your life, then she would keep on about it pick, pick, pick every time she saw you.

You should only tolerate that for so long, if they are pointing out a sin, then acknowledge it, put it right with Jesus and ask him to fix things so that you can overcome it, that’s why he came. Then thank the person but if they keep on about it every time you meet they are the ones with a problem. You can confront them but may get nowhere, self-righteousness and arrogance go together hand in hand. The arrogant seldom listen.

My friend picked on something in my life that was not actually a sin. It is something many Christians frown on, usually without knowing what they are talking about. When my son was 14 instead of getting into “sex, drugs & rock n’ rock” he got into RPG Roleplaying. I had heard bad things about Dungeon’s and Dragons from fellow Christians, but challenged to actually look into it myself and not just believe gossip, I took a good read of the game rules and regs and became his GM (Game Master). We dropped from the game a couple of things that were spiritually questionable (the GM can do that) and over the years have spent many enjoyable hours with friends and family in gales of laughter playing D&D and Pathfinder.

When my friend chose to pick on me in regards to my RPG playing which was a bonding activity with my oldest boy, and actually socially beneficial to him as he is on the Autism scale, I saw through the motives. As an unbeliever the motives had nothing to do with trying to gently correct something perceived as a sin in me, I wasn’t even playing at the time, I was immersed in theological study and trying to deal with a deep emotional trauma. I was trying to study and being interupted every single day. I had told her repeatedly that, it was just a game and we had banned the two elements that weren’t ok. But day after day she turned up and brought it up accusingly day after day. I quickly saw that if it hadn’t been that, she would have found something else – I hate to think what, I’m not perfect – just forgiven. So my answer after several warnings was, “Get out of my home, you are no longer welcome here, I don’t need someone constantly critical and negative in my life.”

Jesus is perfect, yet he had exactly the same problem with the Pharisee’s. He pointed it out to them – John (his cousin) came doing all the things a prophet is meant to do, he dotted the I’s and crossed the t’s and was completely the stereotypical prophet, meeting all the prophet iden-tification requirements - yet they labelled him as “crazy”, demon-possessed. Then Jesus comes doing all the things John doesn’t and he knows they will label him “crazy” also. A friend of tax-collectors and sinners. Nothing was going to satisfy those self-righteous Phari-sees. I thank God they were right about one thing - Jesus is a sinner’s best friend. What they meant as an insult is something for which I praise God.