Have you ever tried and tried to please someone but found that nothing really worked? That’s the situation our friend, Fran, finds herself in this week. A new woman at church, Sally, has begun attending Fran’s Tuesday night Bible study group which meets in her home. But last night Sally seemed to put a wet blanket over the whole group as she rather sharply criticized the church and the group.

Sensing that Sally is a hurting woman and feeling that she could have done a better job at making her feel like a part of the group, Fran determines to make Sally a project. She plans to shower her with attention and love and break down the barriers there. After all, that’s what true Christian love should do, and she wants to go the extra mile.

On Wednesday she gives Sally a call. “Hi, Sally. It’s Fran. I just wanted to tell you again how nice it was to have you join us last night. I hope you found a warm welcome and will come back again.”

“Yeah, sure,” Sally replies, “I’ll be there—on time—next Tuesday night. By the way, I hope we get into more in-depth Bible study. In fact, one of the reasons I left the church I attended was because I wanted some more in-depth Bible study, so I hope we’ll get into some meat of the Word soon.”

“Oh,” Fran says, not sure how to reply, “how long did you attend the other church?”

“Almost a year,” Sally says. “The pastor just didn’t get into expository preaching like he should, and their Bible teachers aren’t really educated well enough to teach a Bible study. I just couldn’t stay in that situation any longer.”

“Well, I appreciate your desire to really study the Word,” Fran says. “That’s the only thing that really makes a difference in our lives.”

“Yeah,” Sally says, “and also the music in the other church—I just couldn’t take that music any longer. Too contemporary for me. We need music that is honoring to the Lord, not music to dance by.”

After a few more attempts to put a happy face on the conversation, Fran gives up and says good-bye. Once again, her conversation with Sally has left her feeling guilty, discouraged, and inadequate. “I’ll just have to try harder,” she says to herself. “This woman needs a friend and I guess that’s what God wants me to do.”

Is It?