Saturday, April 28, 2012

People Pleasers

“…If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1: 10b

Hawa asked me bluntly, “Joy, why do you wear your hair short?” I could tell she didn’t approve of short hair for women. Her question bothered me so much that I decided, well, that’s it, I’m going to grow my hair longer. Well, what a year I endured growing it longer. I drove my husband crazy with all my whining on bad hair days. My hair just wouldn’t cooperate the way I wanted it to. I must have asked him a hundred times if he thought I should cut it. He was sensitive about giving me the right answer – the answer I always wanted to hear. Poor guy! Then, one day, a year later, Fatima, bluntly remarked to me, “Joy, why are you growing your hair long? It is better short.” She definitely gave me a disapproving look that put me into tears as soon as I reached home. It was the way she said it that sent me running to the hair stylist. “Cut it short like it used to be,” I pleaded. Ah, now I felt so much better and at peace. A few days later I visited Dalilah. When she saw me she laughed right out loud and said, “You definitely look younger.” Hmm…I settled in for a good visit. Then the next day I visited Shukriah who also laughed at the big change and said, “You have man hair cut now.” Not a good moment… A person can’t win, I concluded.

I learned a lot through the year’s hair growing ordeal. It surprised me that I was so easily pulled into pleasing people. And the biggest discovery of all was that when I waited for peoples’ approval it never brought peace. The next day could bring disapproval and upheaval of emotions. I actually knew what looked best on me long ago. Much time and effort and energy were wasted needlessly by striving to please Hawa, Fatima, Dalilah, and Shukriah.

If we can be tempted to please people so easily and quickly in the area of our appearance how much more in the area of sharing our faith. We don’t want someone to get offended so we leave out talking about sin or that Jesus is the Son of God or about God taking on human appearance and becoming human. Many Muslim women have asked me if I consider Mohammed to be a prophet of God. Some have asked if the Qur’an is from Allah or man. Jamal and Hajarah came to Canada for a six months’ sabbatical from his university teaching. She was full of questions and didn’t know who to ask. One day Hajarah came to my house and asked me in a whisper, “Joy, is Jesus more than a prophet? I have to know. Please tell me.”

Our Muslim friends deserve to clearly hear the truth written in the Bible. Let’s show them and patiently and gently explain to them what is written. It is futile to witness trying to please Muslims.

Dear heavenly Father, please help me to rise above fear of rejection. In Jesus’ name, Amen.