You Can’t Please Everyone

There was once a man and his son going with their Donkey to the market. As they were walking along by its side a neighbor man passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride on?”

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men and one of them said: “See that lazy kid, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy father to let his poor little son trudge along while he rides.”

Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up with him on the Donkey. By this time they had come into town, and the passersby began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor little Donkey with you and your hulking son?”

The man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the Donkey’s feet to it, and carried the pole and the Donkey on their shoulders. They went along enduring the laughter of all who met them till they came to a bridge, and then the Donkey, got one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge with his feet being tied together, and drowned.

“That will teach you,” said an old man who had been following them: “Try to please everyone, and you will please no one.”

Abraham Lincoln once wisely said, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Oh, how true that is, Abe!

Jesus Christ was the premiere example of the fact that you can’t please everybody. You just can’t. He was absolutely perfect, but He was disliked by many people who ultimately endorsed his public execution.

He was morally perfect, yet His life showed us that it didn’t make Him popular at all. The Bible tells us it is impossible to earn the approval of everyone. In fact, attaining full approval by our fellow humans actually, at times, places us in conflict with pursuing the purpose for our life.

Our focus is not the approval of humans. It is the approval of our Creator that we seek. We actually should be suspicious of somebody who seems to have everyone’s approval over somebody who doesn’t. What would a person be like who is like that and is pleasing to everybody? It would be someone who agreed with whoever he was with at the moment. A person with no set standards, values or deep personal beliefs.

You can’t please everyone. You just can’t. Don’t waste your time by even trying. Be true to your own personal mission and values. Wouldn’t you rather be disliked by some and know what you’re about than liked by everybody and stand for nothing?

Published by Daryl Daughtry

Life and Leadership Coach and a Coach Trainer and Christian Speaker. Co-Founder of Life Breakthrough Academy and President of the Biblical Coaching Alliance.