What's Your Pleasure?
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Do you ever try to please everybody and end up pleasing nobody? Are you so busy pleasing others that you leave yourself out? Some people even engage in unethical behavior in order to please others.
For those who find themselves in this mind-set, there's an alternative. It involves putting God first.
Christian Science, discovered in 1866 by Mary Baker Eddy, looks to the teaching of Christ Jesus to reveal the nature of God. She wrote in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Jesus urged the commandment, 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me,' which may be rendered: Thou shalt have no belief of Life as mortal; thou shalt not know evil, for there is one Life, - even God, good.... He at last paid no homage to forms of doctrine or to theories of man, but acted and spake as he was moved, not by spirits but by Spirit [God]" (Pgs. 19-20). Jesus said to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself (see Luke 10:27). One who does this fulfills the law - the law of God, the law of divine Love.
Obeying God's commandments might seem to occasion divisions in human relationships. But striving for peaceful relationships with others is always important, and being steadfast and obedient to God will eventually and inevitably produce them. Such obedience cannot result in regret.
A friend of mine learned about this. She tried to please her husband and keep the peace, agreeing to tell business clients who telephoned him in the evening that he was not at home when he really was. She felt uncomfortable about lying. Nevertheless, she went along with the arrangement.
One evening, she addressed the caller by name, "regretting that her husband was not at home," when he suddenly called out, "Oh yes, I am, and I want to speak to her." And he took the call. My friend felt foolish and frustrated. She made a decision on the spot never to tell a lie again, and told her husband so. She felt strengthened by this decision, and gained some peace of mind at the same time.
Science and Health reveals God as the divine Mind and as Truth itself, which speaks to us all: "Divine Mind rightly demands man's entire obedience, affection, and strength. No reservation is made for any lesser loyalty. Obedience to Truth gives man power and strength. Submission to error superinduces loss of power" (Pg. 183).
In his own life, Jesus set an example. One of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, gained the popularity of the Pharisees and pleased political leaders by betraying Jesus. Conversely, Jesus obeyed God and forsook the popularity of the world to bring God's message of salvation from sin, sickness, and death to mankind. Judas pursued a suicidal course. Jesus healed the sick and the sinner, and raised the dead - even brought about his own resurrection.
A lofty example. But we can learn from Jesus. The willingness to be obedient to what we know is good, and the striving to do God's will, bring healing into our lives by means of God's law - moral as well as physical healing.
Perhaps what best enables us to be who and what we really are - the perfect child of God - is a humble receptivity to the spiritual fact that we are made in His likeness, the likeness of Spirit, not matter. This is the way to feel closer to God, and thus more secure.
How do we know what the will of God is? Mrs. Eddy said that Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (see Matt., Chaps. 5-7), read and practiced weekly, would be sufficient for "Christian practice" (see "Message to The Mother Church for 1901," Pg. 11). Whether or not you call yourself a Christian, you can read that sermon. You can pray constantly for God's guidance by turning your thought to the divine Mind and listening to the inner voice, the voice of Truth, which is always speaking to you. You can refuse to be misguided by conflicting human opinions.
If the wish to please others tempts you to go against what you know is good (what is Godlike), remember this Bible message from Colossians: "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance" (3:23, 24).