Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Insulted (11/01/04)
TITLE: Polly Peoplepleaser's Perennial Paradise
By Lisa Beaman
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
Soon, Samuel Servant strolled by. He saw Polly's garden and showered her with sincere praise. "Miss Peoplepleaser!" Samuel shouted, "Super showmanship! Surely your use of salvia is sensational!" Samuel didn't just shower her with praise; he showed her his sincerity by offering his service. "Shall I assist you with the shovel and the soil? Sharing the work should make it simple!"
Coincidentally, when Samuel left, Connie Compliments came along. Connie congratulated Polly on her creativity. "Polly!" she cried, "I am certain that the color contrast you chose compliments the chrysanthemums! Could you come by and convince Mr. Compliments that chrysanthemums aren't crazy? Come over, whenever it's convenient, of course."
Connie's compliments and Samuel's service pleased Polly. Evidently, the garden also pleased Dr. Earnest Encourager. "Excellent!" he exclaimed when he examined Polly's garden. Earnest earnestly encouraged Polly to enter her garden in an exhibition. "Your garden is enviable," he explained. "Everyone will see the evidence of your endeavor. Your experience and expertise in gardening will be an example to every gardener at the exhibition." Earnest even thanked Polly for the enjoyable experience.
Polly Peoplepleaser was proud of her perennial paradise. "Perhaps my perennials are perfect! I should probably take pictures of the pink peonies in particular and present it to the exhibition. Then, more people will be pleased and I will be praised for my planting."
However, Isabella Insults was not impressed. Isabella had her own incredible garden. It was inconceivable to Isabella that Polly's garden could be interpreted as the best. So, Isabella insinuated to Polly that her garden could use some improvement. "With some instruction and intricate design your garden could become ingenious." Isabella interceded. "In fact, the Irises are indeed interfering. They interrupt with the flow and appear isolated." Isabella continually insulted Polly's perennials. Her carefully inserted insults pierced Polly's inflated pride.
While Isabella's insults were inexcusable, Polly's misplaced pride proved to be a problem. Polly then proceeded to pick at herself. She questioned the purpose in her planting.
Because Polly's perennials weren't pleasing to all the people who passed by, she lost her passion for her pretty plants. She no longer provided care for her perennials. She didn't take the picture of her pink peonies. She proposed to herself that she would never plant again and the weeds overtook her perennial paradise.
The purpose of this parable is to prove that pleasing people should never be our passion. Even though Polly had the sincere service of Samuel Servant; the creative compliments of Connie Compliment; and the earnest encouragement of Dr. Earnest Encourager, it was the insinuating insults of Isabella Insults that carried the most influence.
Perhaps Polly could use a principle found in Proverbs, "a prudent man overlooks an insult". (Proverbs 12:16) The apostle Peter also has some points she might practice. He said that we should not live the rest of our earthly lives for "evil human desires, but rather for the will of God". (1 Peter 4:2)
Pleasing people should never be our purpose. We can never please all people and insinuating insults could indeed interfere with our plans. Therefore, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith". (Hebrews 12:2)
2004 Copyright, Lisa D. Beaman
(All scripture is from the NIV)