“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” ~Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
On a daily basis, we succumb to the pressures that other people place on us. We continually try to make others happy by giving them what we think that they want from us. We do it with our fellow believers, our spouses, our family, our children, and even complete strangers. We become confused, angry, and completely out of control when people are upset with us, because we did not do something right, or we said the wrong thing.
The real question here is, “Why do we go to these lengths to earn the approval of man?” Matthew 6:24 states that “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (NIV). How can we serve man and God at the same time? Consequently, this is exactly what we do when we go out of our way to please man. So, what is the root of the problem? How can we overcome?
For most of my life, I have been a pleaser of man. I despised this behavior in my life, but I could not stop myself from doing it on a daily basis. Many times, I would ignore my own needs and intuition to accomplish whatever it was that the specific person was demanding from me. Afterwards, I would just cry and ask God to help me with this terrible character flaw. The Lord showed me that I wanted to please man, because I desired their approval and love.
Later, God revealed this was deeper than that; although I had been a believer for most of my life, I had not truly experienced God’s love, approval, and grace in my life. I was still living under the law and not by the grace of God. Intellectually, I knew that God loved me, and that I was His child, but these truths were only head knowledge. After this revelation, I began to ask God to show me the road to freedom. It was a slow process of letting go and disappointing those around me. Nonetheless, it was truly freeing to be pleasing my Lord and Savior instead of people.
These changes took time to incorporate in my daily life. Even today, the Holy Spirit impresses on me when I am about to please people versus pleasing God. It is a difficult path, and it takes a lot of courage, but the Bible promises that “we can do all things through Christ who strengths us” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).
We must begin with repentance, then we need to ask The Lord to make us aware of the truth and the root of the problem. Then, we need to make a conscious choice to turn away from pleasing man. The Lord will convict us of this behavior before it happens. We must always search the motives of our hearts. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Psalm 139:23, NIV).
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen
Sara Hall is a widow and mother of four children. Being of Hispanic origin, she loves having her family near her at all times. She is currently an online student at Liberty University, studying Psychology with a concentration in Christian Counseling. Sara has a tremendous passion for learning all subjects and studying the Bible, and she has been a Christian for a total of 31 years. Having the spiritual gift of exhortation, she loves helping people strengthen their walks with The Lord.
Mom, Student, & Teacher