The world is obsessed with perfection. However, the definition of perfection for each person is arbitrary. Have you noticed that the personal quest for perfection is really the same thing as the desire to please the people around you? If you’re really good at pleasing the people around you, you get promoted, you make lots of sales, you’re popular, and life is really good and really easy. But if you make the people around you mad, you’re hours at work gets cut, raises are non-existent (but for those required by law or contract), no matter how well you perform, it’s never noticed, or the credit is given or taken by someone else. Life is much harder and you find that you have few friends and are less popular.
This is the time to look at motives. Both of your own and of those around you. Why do some people succeed at pleasing others better than someone else? Especially if that someone else is yourself. Here are a few observations I’ve noticed over the years. I’ve been both popular and unpopular with the people around me and know the feelings of both sides of the fence.
The world demands a standard that really is no standard, for instance, workplace ethics is a subject that is meant to “level the playing field.” Take the case of sexual discrimination. The “good ol’ boy” network allowed men to harass women. So ladies were considered at work to be “eye candy” but men were considered to be the “producers.” This attitude built a culture that paid women less and men more. Even if the women produced more than the men. Even if the ladies were more qualified than the men. And despite the fact that some men, (particularly those with authority), harassed the women for implied or actual sexual favors. When workplace ethics are introduced into an environment like this, the harassment is exposed as wrong and the inequities are openly addressed. But as long as the “good ol’ boys” remain in power, the overt culture is simply driven underground and becomes a covert culture. Now the descriptive phrase is “office politics.”
The “popular” ladies get promoted in order to fulfill the need or requirement to “level the playing field.” It appears that the workplace is more integrated, but the truth is more insidious. Capable men that produce well and resist the temptation to take advantage of women are considered to be less trustworthy. Why? The “good ol’ boys” know that these men will expose their network of fun and pleasure. So good ethics are used to expose good people, not change the bad people. So good men are passed over by those in power in order to keep the bad people in power and only those who can navigate the “ethics landmine,” meaning know how to keep “office matters in the office” will be promoted. So the men learn to keep silent when women are harassed by the bosses. Those who can stay silent when the boss is unethical is playing politics well and will be advanced. Those who expose the boss on ethical grounds and according to company policy will find themselves outside of the “inner circle,” working harder, and getting paid the minimum allowed by law and contract. In this case, ethics at work, works against those who have ethics in their lives.
What about the ladies? Don’t they deserve to have a workplace environment that is free of sexual tension? Absolutely. But once again, when workplace ethics becomes a written company standard, the affect is usually just the opposite. There are women who have ethics ingrained in their lives everywhere. Just as there are good men who live with good ethics. But in the liberal workplace of today, good women, with good morals are still marginalized just as before. That doesn’t mean that only the “loose ladies” are promoted. It means that “office politics” once again trumps “workplace ethics” in practice. It’s not a matter of good or bad policies, or even good or bad companies, it’s a matter of leadership. And all too often, strong, capable “leaders” are also unethical bosses.
The “Me Too” movement has successfully exposed some of these unethical bosses. But it’s not the bosses that are the problem when the unethical culture is the real problem that enabled these bosses to flourish in the first place. Where did these unethical men and women learn their habits that allowed them to take advantage of others physically and mentally to such a degree? Is it their upbringing? If so, then we can trace a family history of abuse and power to see a pattern in their family line. Is it their school system? If so, then we should be able to follow the graduates and find a pattern there. Is it their religion? If so, then we should be able to look at the religious culture where they worship and find out if there is a pattern of power and abuse or leadership and empowerment. Or is it their relationship spiritually?
There are ancient deities that are still worshiped today. The Judeo/Christian God is one of these deities. As this blog supports and promotes this God as the true God and every other god subject to the true God, then any other deity is a false god. This is the setup for the world’s hatred of Jews and Christians. We say we live under a moral and ethical standard that can be read, followed, and traced for more than three millenniums. But the world can trace its deities and their histories for a greater length of time. Just as Moses had to prove that the God of Israel was true and powerful, the Christian religion rose in the same manner 2000 years ago. But the ethics of the world has also been injected into the Christian religion and we are living today under a system of religion that is distorted from the original to such a degree that the truth is really no longer recognizable.
Can you see now that our true battle is spiritual? I only followed one path of deceit in a workplace environment. This path of deceit has been present in every workplace environment I’ve experienced. This also includes the church. Sexual tension and deceit, power and authority, leadership and bosses, men and women working together both with and without ethics all under the same workplace environment. This is the real world. And we all have to navigate through treacherous waters of danger and deceit in order to support our families and rise through the ranks of advancement.
Until now, there has been no practical method revealed to help an average believer learn how to trust God directly and this has been the goal and focus of my entire life. It wasn’t easy for me to learn the things that are revealed in my book below. I’ve made many mistakes along the way. When a church’s culture is no different from the workplace in the world, (except for the mention of God), it is only possible to learn the truth that that particular church really practices. And every church is strong at something. It’s just that they are also weak at other things of Christ or of God. There is no such thing as a perfect church but for the church you are most comfortable attending. There is no such thing as a perfect doctrine but for the doctrine you submit yourself to in obedience. If you want to impose your perfection onto others, then you’ve begun a church of your own. And I have no desire to start a church of my own when I believe my part in the Kingdom of God is to build Jesus’ church with His help and revelation.
My book isn’t doctrinal in that I try to explain or deny any particular doctrine as true or false. That is not the focus of practical or radical Christianity. The focus of my book is to lead you into a practical and spiritual relationship with God the Father of Jesus who lives within you by the Holy Spirit given by Christ. Doctrine determines the confessions of belief and practices that a group of believers do with one another. Their doctrine comes from the Biblical studies of people done long ago and is rarely subject to change. The practical spiritual walk of a believer comes from an interaction and relationship with God every day and is different from day to day, situation to situation, and from one believer to another. The “rules” are really guidelines to help any believer to trace their spiritual development with God their spiritual father.
Do you know whether you are an infant, a toddler, a child, an adolescent, a young adult, or a mature adult in your relationship with God? Just as there are different stages of physical development and mental development in life and among people, those same stages are present in our spiritual growth. Unless you truly believe that you are a mature adult in your spiritual development, (and I can’t really say this of myself), then we are all working up to that level of development together. News flash, none of us will ever reach that level of full maturity until Jesus Christ returns. So the best we can all hope to achieve in this life is to become young adults in our spiritual walk with God. So that also means that we will always be making mistakes. We will always risk “missing it” at any point in our walks with God.
But think about this, men in the world demand perfection from imperfect men and women. When we make a mistake, and there’s no doubt that we will, we are penalized for our imperfection. Those that we consider to be perfect and get promoted for their “perfection” in any area of life, are also filled with their own imperfections that they are able to hide or are covered over by others. There are no perfect people.
Romans 3: 9 – 11 “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
As it is true that the Christian religion of today is an outgrowth of the Gentile believers in the book of Acts, these verses in Romans is still applicable to the church of today. We’ve all gone astray in that we’ve forgotten how to walk by the Spirit, and by this forgetting, don’t know how to please God in faith. This is what I wanted to learn in church. But all I learned was how to please my pastor instead. And in my imperfection, I learned that I was never really able to please my pastor. He, (or she), was always able to point out where I was failing. They could always tell me what I was doing wrong, where I had failed, what my inadequacies were, and how I was disappointing my church, my family, my leadership, my workplace, and ultimately God. I learned that I was a general disappointment to everyone. This is NOT the Gospel of Salvation or else I was missing the entire point of the lessons. In either case, I could not believe that this is what God wanted me to learn or to teach. So I rebelled against the church and have devoted my life to learn how to please God and how to teach others how to please God. And the way to please God is really simple.
Hebrews 11: 6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
By faith alone are we able to please God. It’s not the faith of men and doctrines, of churches and fellowships, of songs and praise and good works without the support or guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the obedience to the guidance of the Holy Spirit from God alone. This is the only way to please God and God also knows we are imperfect, but loves us anyways. He provided a way for us to know that He loves us in our imperfection. He would communicate with us directly.
Hebrews 10: 16, 17 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
God knows we are imperfect and He loves us anyways. His demand for us is not for us to be perfect now, but to continually strive for perfection with His help. He wants to be involved in our lives. Much more than we seem to want Him to be involved in our lives. If we ignore our spirit because of fear of failure, we will never please God in faith. Failure is part of our lives. Our greatest learning always come through our failures and God knows this. The only way a believer can fail is to ignore the Holy Spirit in their life. And that is the greatest failure of all. So what if we make a mistake, God is there to guide us all the way back to a right fellowship with Him. His grace and forgiveness is always there for the believer who strives to please Him. Which way do you want to go?
Continuing to please men is entirely within anyone’s wheelhouse. But if that means to deny or weaken our resolve to maintain our own spiritual, moral, or ethical integrity, is it worth the price? If today’s temporal rewards are worth more than the rewards of eternity, then you have the right and privilege to seek after the rewards of life. But if the rewards of eternity are worth more to you than the temporal rewards of the flesh today, then doing things God’s way may be the way to go. This is what my book reveals. Not the doctrinal methods and theories of the church, but the practical steps to take, leading to spiritual growth with God. You never have to worry about pleasing me. I’m not your judge. But there will come a day when you and I will be standing in front of Jesus Christ. On that day, I want to be able to tell Him thanks and gratitude for all He did for me as a result of obedience to Him by the Holy Spirit. I would love to be standing next to you and hear you do the same thing because my book helped your spiritual life with Him. Check it out below.