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people-pleasing...

...is a perennial and serious problem in ministry.  It's like the best man in a wedding trying to get the bride to like himself more than she likes the groom.  This quote was shared with me by a friend in ministry...


At the same time, it is important  that the spiritual director be vigilant that he is not assailed by a desire to please others, or else even though he might carefully penetrate the things of the internal life and provide for what is necessary of external concerns, he seeks the love of the laity more than he seeks the Truth; or supported by his good works and appearing otherworldly, his love of self separates him from his Creator. For he is the enemy of the Redeemer, who through the good works that he performs desires to be loved by members of the Church rather than by Him. For indeed, a servant is guilty of adulterous thoughts if he desires to please the eyes of the bride when he is sent by the groom to offer gifts. 

Gregory the Great, ca AD 600 in The Book of Pastoral Rule

We need to be more like John the Baptist...

"The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.  He must increase, but I must decrease."  (John 3:29-30 ESV)

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