Seeking the Approval of Man or God
How many of us get trapped trying to please the people around us, to our detriment? While this is a human trait, the Lord speaks to us in Galatians 1:10, about our allegiance to man.
“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.”
The two are mutually exclusive. You can attempt to please the people around you or you can please God. The old saying, you can please some of the people some of the time, but cannot please all of the people all of the time is moot. You cannot focus on pleasing people if it does not align with the Word of God. Being a people pleaser affects your relationship with God. It also affects your ability to make good decisions and it will wear you out.
People will not love you more if you bend over backward attempting to prove yourself to them. People pleasing is often our attempt at covering up past mistakes, failures, missteps, wrongdoings, and embarrassments. People pleasing is our attempt at trying to convince others to recognize us, to view us differently, to approve who we are and to love us.
The truth is that only God has the power to free us from our sins. Only God’s love can make us whole, not man. When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we were transformed. Through the transformation, we were freed from trying to please people and instead become obedient to the Word and please God. Our goal moving forward is to stop attempting to please others, our spouses, friends, relatives, employers, and associates. People pleasing requires going overboard, often being personally afflicted by the decisions we make to please others. The transformation focuses our lives on God, not on people.
When we seek to please people, we must do so as Christ did. This type of people pleasing is very different than the carnality of becoming a whipping post. Our efforts to please others often causes friction between you and the people you are trying to please, eventually, the efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated and at the same time, there is the expectation that you will continue bending over backward. The relationship is abusive.
Only pleasing God will provide the results you are looking for, unconditional love. Your relationship frees you of guilt. It strengthens you and teaches you that you are his child and you can love yourself in a healthy way, not to become haughty, self-serving, pompous and prideful, but to grow and become a humble servant. Carnal people pleasing is a selfish and self-serving dependency. People pleasing is an act of desperation attempting to gain approval from people.
There is an adage, but for the grace of God, there go I. As Christians, God freed us from our sins. We no longer have to attempt to please others and to seek their approval. We no longer have to seek love. God loves us and is the only one that can quell our insatiable desire to be loved. In God, we have redemption through his blood, the riches of his grace, and the wisdom and understanding that our purpose in life is not to be a people pleaser living in self-deprivation, but as a child of God seeking to please him.
There are two scriptures that will help you shift your thinking.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness ”. Matthew 6:33, and “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding”. Proverbs 3:5.
You cannot be a people pleaser and please the Lord. One is the result of co-dependency, the other is dependency upon our Lord and Savior.
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Bible Quotes from, YouVersion. Bible.com