Becoming obsessed with what people think about you is the fastest way to forget what God thinks about you.
I am not who you say I am. I am not even who I say I am. I am who God says I am: adopted, accepted, and forgiven. –Rick Warren
No matter how hard you try, you can never, ever please everyone. Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. –Galatians 1:10
- People pleasers tend to take most criticism personally.
- People pleasers have an extraordinary fear of rejection.
- People pleasers find it hard to express their true feelings.
- People pleasers have a hard time saying no.
People pleasing is a form of idolatry.
Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. –John 12:42-43
Fearing people is a dangerous trap (mowquesh), but trusting the Lord means safety. -Proverbs 29:25
Mowqesh – The Hebrew word that means a noose or a trap.
Three traps of people pleasing
- I will compromise for you trap
- I will over commit for you trap
- I will let you limit my success trap
The fear of God is the best antidote for the fear of what people think.
Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. -Psalm 34:9
Fearing God: Other ways to translate the word are to revere, worship, respect, and honor.
A helpful way to think about fearing God is growing close to God and living for Him. God is BIG to you and is FIRST in your life.
The only antidote for the fear of what people think is for God to be bigger in your life. Seek Him. Surrender to Him. Know Him. Let Him become bigger and be set free from the opinions of people. It’s the only way you are ever going to please God.
Questions for Small Group Study or Personal Reflection
1. Name the people in your life you often feel pressured to please.
Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the one
who examines the motives of our hearts. -1 Thessalonians 2:4
2. What motives do you have for trying to please people?
3. What do you fear would happen if you failed to please them?
He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. -Matthew 6:33
4. What needs you are expecting others to meet that can only be met by God?
5. What choices or changes do you need to make in order to have those needs met only by God?
Pray: God, help us to believe you will give us all we need from day to day. Help us choose to live only for you.
Credit: Craig Greoschel