SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(Gal 1:10) For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Are you a people pleaser? Do you have a hard time saying no to others? Do you feel it’s your responsibility to make everyone happy around you? Do you make decisions to please people that you regret later? Then it looks like you may be a people pleaser for sure! Why do some have this tendency and how can a person overcome this weakness? Well, like anything else we struggle with the solution is in the Bible. Let’s see what God’s Word has to say.
In the book of Acts the disciples were told to not preach any more in the name of Jesus. That didn’t set right with them as they were told by Jesus to go everywhere and preach the gospel (Acts 16:15). So this is how they replied: But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29) Don’t you love it? They had the capacity to say no to others and yes to what they knew was right. How did they do it? Where did their strength come from? Their boldness came from the desire to please God rather than man.
Jesus said something quite amazing: (John 8:29) And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” May that be the desire of every follower of Christ! To always please the Lord and not to please man. But it’s interesting when we please the Lord then it also trickles down into our relationships. (Pro 16:7) When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. But in between the time people will get mad that you didn’t do what they wanted. But eventually you just may gain their respect because you stood for what was right when you were under pressure to do the opposite.
It is deep in many of us to be liked. No one wants to be rejected. So in that desire to be accepted we may go a little too far in pleasing people. This inclination could lead us to compromise our values and do things we never set out to do (Pro 29:25). It could lead to burnout because we say yes to everything and fail to pray about it (Josh 9:14). It surely leads to frustration because we find ourselves living for the approval of others when our goal is to live for Christ and His commendation. (John 12:43) for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
When are we going to learn that we are not responsible for other people’s happiness? They have to rely upon God for that. When we people please we are taking over God’s job! No wonder this way of living wipes us out. Yes, we are to serve others as our Lord taught us but we are not their savior. When we people please really no one is pleased…including God, ourselves, and even that other person. So let’s please the Lord because that is so pleasing!