This time of year is my absolute favorite—the way the summer heat gives way to perfect temperatures, not too hot, not too cold. The vibrancy of the warm colors that make you want to sip hot apple cider and curl up with a good book. Pumpkins. Pre-Christmas season excitement that builds underneath the surface. The beauty of autumn is a gift.
When I step outside, it feels like I should be headed to a Girl Scout meeting. Isn’t it funny how our senses do that for us, transporting us back to a different time and place?
I can vividly remember sitting on the carpet in my kindergarten classroom with the entire class gathered around. It was a Friday afternoon, and the teacher began asking students what they were doing over the weekend. I raised my hand and informed the whole class that I was going to the mall to get my ears pierced. That was it—the plan had become official. An entire carpet full of little people now knew the excitement that was happening in my world over the next 48 hours. After making this statement to my class, I didn’t think about my commitment again until late Sunday afternoon.
Now if you remember anything about what malls were like 20-something years ago, you know that they always closed early on Sundays, 6 PM to be exact. So the reminder going off in my five-year-old brain was happening very close to when the mall would be closing. Panicked, I exclaimed to my mom, “MOM! We have to go to the mall right now! I told my entire class that I was getting my ears pierced this weekend!” All I could envision was walking into my classroom with the weight of guilt crushing me as I knew I had said something I didn’t come through on.
Of course, looking back now, I know that no one in that room probably would have noticed, let alone cared, whether my ears actually got pierced over the weekend. I wouldn’t have been wearing the label, “liar,” for the remainder of the school year. But as I think about this situation (I did end up getting them pierced, by the way), I think about how, in a lot of ways, I’m still the girl who doesn’t want to let her kindergarten class down. I don’t want to come across as someone I’m not. I don’t want to be seen in a negative light.
As a pastor’s wife, people are going to form and hold countless opinions of you, of your marriage, of the way you do ministry. Sometimes, it’s easy to equate people’s liking of us with how well we are doing our job. Because if we are loving people well, they should love us back. That would seem to make the most sense, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. But here’s the good news: People’s opinion of us has nothing to do with the effectiveness of our ministry. We are not here to please man, but God.
Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
The reality is, we will never please everyone. Regardless of how much we exhaust ourselves trying to make everyone like us, there will always be someone who has something to say. And that’s okay! Pleasing everyone is not our calling! Our calling is to remain steadfast in seeking the Lord and being obedient to Him as we reflect Christ. May God give us the grace to do so well.