Most of us live with a hierarchical structure, like a pyramid, that guides our decisions and actions. Think of it as an unwritten code that we live by. It can change over time but generally remains stable unless a major event alters our perception of things. It’s possible to have a deep desire to please any number of people. On this hierarchy, many of us can agree on who is on it. The interesting thing is, not everyone who has the same categories will treat them with the same regard. In fact, some will downright despise what they have or wish it were something else.
For some people, family is everything. They often want to spend time with each other and do things together. Their commitment is to please their family. They put the wellbeing of their family ahead of things like work or school. Yet, there are families who fight each other and cannot stand to be around one another. To those people, pleasing family members is at the bottom of the list. Even in dedication to pleasing our families, we can put our own ambitions ahead of their actual desires and do the wrong thing.
Friendship is an important category since we all need social interaction on a regular basis. Who you hang out with is particularly important because it often influences your decisions. It is hard to let down a good friend if you care for them. As such, peer pressure can lead to any number of things, good or bad. In the good sense, they can help push you past self-imposed limits. In the bad sense, well, I think you already know that one.
The biggest battle happens at the top of the hierarchy of someone’s life. Some will claim they put God first. Some will claim this spot belongs to family. For some, it is a spouse. The truth of people’s claims is not a mystery. Follow the trail of evidence and it will reveal the fruit of the tree. A person can claim many things, especially at different periods of time. Thus, the integrity of their hierarchical structure is volatile and varies over time. With the continual fluctuation, it makes a them continually need to evaluate their priorities. Of course, it’s easier to not bother doing any of that and let whatever happen, do so on its own.
Whom do you live to please? Is it one of those that was mentioned? Is it you? One thing that we should be ready to admit to, regardless of our claims, is that we often put ourselves at the top. Living to please oneself is one of the greatest temptations we face in humanity. Interestingly enough, it turns out to be one of the least rewarding. Many who live that lifestyle are filled with regret and seldom have peace. Find out what your hierarchical structure looks like by examining your life. Jesus knew that we would be hypocrites, laying claim to one thing but living another way. I often wonder why he narrowed down for us two things – Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. But even with such a narrow focus, we still miss the mark. Don’t believe me? Follow the trail of evidence. You will see when actions speak loudly, and when words have little to say.
Categories: Love People