A man and his grandson went on a journey, walking and leading a donkey. Soon they met a man who said, “How foolish for you to be walking. One of you should be riding the donkey.” So the man put his grandson on the animal.
The next traveler they met frowned and said accusingly, “How dreadful for a strong, young boy to be riding while an old man walks.” With that, the boy climbed off the donkey and his grandfather climbed on.
The next person down the road, however, said, “I just can’t believe that a grown man would ride and make a poor little boy walk.” So the man pulled the boy back aboard and off they rode on the donkey together.
That is, until they met the next fellow who screamed, “I never saw anything so cruel in all my life. Two intelligent human beings riding on the poor little scrawny donkey.” They dismounted, picked up the donkey and carried it down the road.
Down the road a piece from there our trio met a couple of men traveling together. When the parties had passed, one of the men turned to the other and said, “Did you ever see two fools carrying a donkey before?”
How to please everyone? Don’t even try! Just try to please God. “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ,” (Gal. 1:10).
The sooner we learn we cannot live by the conscience of any other man, the better off we will be. Each of us must walk by the rule of faith that comes by hearing the word of God according to (Rom. 10:17). We understand James 4:4 to teach that friendship with the world causes us to be the enemy of God.
When it comes to preaching the word, preachers must realize they too must also live by the word. To proclaim something that would just tickle ears and not be in harmony with “the God-breathed word” causes one, even if he were an angel from heaven, to be accursed.
We must not confer with men when preaching the word. It has been certified already. Our job is to persuade men to obey it.
As our travelers soon learned, trying to please everyone only led to confusion. Confusion leads to doing something foolish, like carrying your donkey! Or worse yet, confusion leads to denominationalism!