People-pleasing is a Bad Idea

Via Unsplash
Via Unsplash

Galatians 1:10 – For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10 is clear: No one can please everybody.

Each person is going to like aspects and parts of you while disliking parts of you. It’s very rarely that you’ll find someone that likes all of you, and if you do, then you should just marry that person. With that said, different people will want you to behave in a different way – people will have their unique version of who they think you are at your best – this may differ widely. You can’t be who everyone else wants you to be, or even who one particular person wants you to be. Sometimes you can’t even be the person you want to be because that might even be a bad idea.

So here is what I suggest, be the person God wants you to be.

People-pleasing is vanity. It’s like grasping for the wind. It’s a miserable existence to live your life trying to please people. However, trying to live a life that is pleasing to God is far from miserable. People pleasing produces anxiety and fear – discontent and frustration, but God-pleasing produces peace, courage and clarity.

Most of us are guilty of trying to please people. Throughout the Bible, we see men of God attempting to please others. King Saul is a good example. Saul lost the kingdom because he was so focused on pleasing those around him. God gave the kingdom to David, who wasn’t a people-pleaser, but was instead a man after God’s own heart.

I know what it’s like to fall into the trap of wanting to please someone. My life got much easier, far more peaceful and focused once I stopped caring what people thought, and cared more about what God thought. When you can get free of the opinions of others, it’s incredibly liberating. I thank God that He is so merciful and has warned us against people-pleasing.

There are two simple truths that you need to remember:

First, you can’t control what other people think about you. Focus on what God thinks about you. Is God pleased with you? That’s what matters. If God is pleased with you then you are on the right track – His opinion is the only opinion that’s important.

Second, understand that your self-worth isn’t dependent or contingent on someone’s opinion. Your self-worth must be rooted in Christ, and Christ alone. Usually, at the heart of people-pleasing, there is a self-esteem issue or a confidence-conflict. This is something that many of us struggle with. The enemy is a thief, and one of the things that he attempts to steal is our confidence. When you lack confidence and have low self-esteem, it’s easier to fall into the trap of people-pleasing.

Remember how much Yeshua loves you, so root your sense of self-worth in His love. Know that God loves you, and that is all that matters.

Put your trust in God, seek to please Him and put your trust in Him alone.


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