One evening, I was talking to my mentee and she asked me a question about Palm Sunday. I gave her the whole story about the “Triumphal Entry” and how everyone was so excited to see Jesus coming into town, so they took Palm branches and they began waving them as they worshipped Him shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David” but within just a few days, their Hosannas would change to cries of “Crucify Him.” Those who glorified Him as a hero would soon reject and abandon Him.
Wait. “Those who glorified Him as a Hero would soon reject and abandon Him.” Wow, He was crucified by the same people who were just praising Him.
So then I started to think on that, and I applied it to today’s time..
In certain situations, it is usually the people who aren’t the closest to us that usually began to pat us on the back first. In some cases, it is usually the strangers that immediately start to support us, and root for our success, while secretly the people who claim to be in our corner, the people who KNOW us are wishing for our downfall.
Think about Jesus and how he rode in at the beginning of the week (Matthew 21) and everybody was singing His praises “Go Jesus, Go Jesus, GO;” however by the end of the week (Matthew 27) not only were those same people saying “crucify Him,” but one of his disciples, betrayed Him and another one of His closest disciples turned his back on Him by denying Him. I can only imagine what He must have felt like during the moment when He was at His lowest. The people who He called friend were nowhere to be found. Isn’t it funny how people just switch up on you like that? Ok, maybe it’s not funny … but I’ve always wondered how and why as people, we’re able to do that with such ease. That is the main reason why we can’t get so caught up in the praises of others that we start living off of them, because if people would turn their backs and betray Jesus, the Savior of the world, imagine what they would do to us. We have to be careful because when those praises stop, and believe me they will, it will have a negative impact on us. I read a quote that said: “If you live off a man’s compliments, you’ll die from his criticism.”
Switching gears ..2015..
We live in a time where people tend to flock to whatever is popular, whatever is poppin, and whoever is riding into town in the candy apple red Ferrari, they want to associate themselves with the next big thing. It’s kind of like a kid at Christmas time, they receive these expensive, shining new toys, and they will play with them for a few days, but as soon as the new year rolls around, and the newness wears off they are usually no longer interested in the toys that they just received; they hear people at school talking about the new (NEW) toys, so they immediately start to want something else. I’m here to tell you, people are just like that. We like to watch the new television shows, and shop at the new stores, and try the new products and dine at the new restaurants, and attend the new churches with the new Pastors, but after a while when the momentum dies down, we tend to be on the lookout for what’s coming next.
That is why we have to be sure that people are not putting us so high up on a pedestal that they start to worship us like we are a god when they think we are “the next big thing.” Because not only is allowing others to “worship” you a very dangerous place to be put in, but people will discard you once the newness wears off. We must place God in the front of us because He is the one that opened the door and made the opportunity possible. Remain humble and always point people to God; instruct them to look up. I know that in the moment, the extra love and the palm branches may really boost the ego and make you feel all good on the inside; however we must be mindful of our purpose and our assignment. We must remember to be thankful to the one that equipped us with our gifts and talents, and remind others to do the same. Because what are you going to do when you stop hearing all of those, “good jobs” and “way to go’s” or when those pats on the back don’t come as often? What are you going to do when people start criticizing you or questioning you? What are you going to do when your family and your close friends become skeptical and don’t sing your praises to others? Is that going to slow you down? Are you going to allow discouragement to creep in? Are you going to stop working towards your destiny? Are you going to just forget your purpose? Are you going to abort your mission? Or are you going to encourage yourself, pat your own self on the back and keep it moving.
Believe me; I know it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement of people giving you a round of applause, however just remember that it is just as easy to get bummed out and knocked off course when the people around you take a break. It’s easy to get discouraged when all of the noise dies down, and people move on to the next hot trend. That is why we must be Purpose Driven and not People Driven.
For it is much better to be brought down by people, and exalted by God; than it is for God to knock you down like Humpty Dumpty and people try and try to put you back together again.
I truly believe that those times of silence are God ordained. I believe He orchestrates those moments for us to remain humble and focused on the task at hand. He doesn’t want us fully relying on others because He is the Source. He is the one that we should be striving to please, not people. I feel that in those instances God is trying to teach us something. I believe He is testing us to see if the crowd goes away will we still do His will. When people stop posting about us on social media, will we still use our gifts and talents to do what’s right. When our support system breaks down, and our friends get to busy to encourage us, will we find a way to continue to move forward. Just as Jesus had to go through the highs and lows of being praised and then being rejected in order to complete His assignment, we must be prepared to do the same thing. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Jesus, and I’m sure it was difficult for Him to accept that some of the people He thought had His back would be the very ones to turn their backs on Him; however He knew that He had a greater task at hand. He knew His purpose and what He had to do in order to fulfill it.
We must remember, people will change like the wind however God is consistent; He will never fail us. He wants the very best for His children. Let us not get caught up in the hype because remember, the yays can become nays in the matter of a few chapters, or should I say a few days. (Matthew ch. 21 & 27)
Yes, I know it feels good, and honestly, motivation and encouragement can be helpful to us; so please be sure to tell people Thank You and let them know you appreciate them for the nice compliments and gestures. However let’s be sure to honor the Gift Giver and encourage others to do the same. Let us continue to talk to Him, and build ourselves up with His word. Just as we work on our physical bodies by eating right and going to the gym to exercise, we must continue to work on our inner-selves by reading the Word, communicating with Him, seeking Him for direction, and surrounding ourselves with honest people who want what’s best for us.
Be sure to work for a cause, and not for the applause.
I want to encourage you to find your purpose and commit to working towards it whether you have a crowd of people to cheer you on or not. Don’t concern yourself with how fast others are running their race: Allow God to set your pace, so that when the time comes He can place you on a platform for the world to see; let Him promote you. Don’t allow doubt or negativity to bring you down, and get you off focus: Allow Him to prepare a table before you in the presence of your naysayers; let Him elevate you. Don’t get so caught up in the “likes” on social media: Allow God to go before you and make your paths straight, so that you will be ready to walk in the open doors that will bring you before important people in the “Real World.” Be steadfast, and allow Him to make you The Next Big Thing. (Luke 14:11 AMP)
“Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6)