Subtitle: “Live to an audience of One.” Some of you may recall a series of blog posts that I began back in November entitled “What I Wish (as a Pastor) that I had Known, Understood, Believed and Lived 30 years ago.” I said that I would share “12 Lessons” (out of 50 that I started with).

The first lesson was: “Decide which hills are worth dying on, and which are not.” Since that initial post, I have pretty much put my blog on hiatus, simply because my schedule became a bit overwhelming. This week, I wanted to pick up where I left off by sharing with you the “Second Lesson” on my list:

Number 2: Live to an audience of One.

You can’t please all the people all the time…or even most of the people most of the time.

Be far more concerned with the opinions of heaven than the opinions of earth!

You will never be able to live up to everyone’s expectations of you – including some of your closest friends.

You will be misunderstood. People will believe hurtful, false things about you and your family. The larger your ministry grows, the more this will be true! Know that this is normal. Every leader faces this.

The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can get on with pleasing the only One that really matters (God). Entrust yourself to Him who judges justly! (1 Peter 2:23).

Nine passages of Scripture, in particular, have brought consistent comfort and encouragement to me throughout my years of ministry related to this issue. I committed these verses to memory in my early 20’s and they have helped me to keep my focus on “living to an audience of One.”

Here are those nine passages…

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23 NIV)

“Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:5 NASB)

“Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart my fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26 NASB)

“One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. To behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.” (Psalm 27:4-5 NASB)

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18 NASB)

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-7 NIV)

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB)

“For they [the Pharisees] loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.” (John 12:43 NASB)

“We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV)

(Note: most of the passages are from the NASB because this was the translation that I memorized almost all of my verses in, with a few from the NIV)

Next week we will move to number three.