I love to please my daughters. Who doesn’t want to see their kids happy, especially if we are the one bringing them delight? But I also want to see them safe and healthy. So when they make unhealthy or dysfunctional requests, it is easy for me to say “NO!” … even though they aren’t pleased, or are actually upset, or cry because of my answer.
Don’t believe me? What about when they ask … for their third bowl of ice cream … for the keys to the car and they’re only 13 … to stay out to midnight on a school night when they are 14 … to camp out with a boyfriend, alone, when they are 16. All these will easily get a “no” answer from me regardless of how displeased my beloved daughters are.
When fellow adults make dysfunctional requests, for some reason, for most of us, it is harder to say “no”. Whether I think they know more than I do about the particular situation … or they know what’s best for themselves more than I do … or I fear and hate being uneasy when people are mad or upset at me … or I fear their rejection … or I need their approval … or I need to be needed or accepted. Many “I need…” or “I fear…” lenses, based on a me-centered mentality, significantly interfere with our perspective, and lead to disrespectful, dysfunctional, or even sinful relational conduct.
When we focus on trying to please people by acting dysfunctionally, we are not serving God. If we are truly His servants, then our primary goal will be to please Him first, not others.
When Jesus lived on earth, many who believed in Him would not admit their faith. Because these people were more concerned about personal safety and other people’s opinions rather than God’s opinion, they did not live out their faith. Likewise, when we live as people-pleasers, we are demonstrating the fact that we are more concerned about people’s approval instead of God’s … and therefore our walk with Him will always be hindered.
Today, ask yourself: What is my greatest perceived need or greatest perceived threat when someone makes a request of me … or when I feel the need to people-please in a relationship? Whom am I trying to please … God or the person? Maybe most of your life is lived to please God, but there is still some situation … or some person … that sparks you to be a people-pleaser. God wants us to put Him first in all things … we cannot please Him by placing more importance on people’s opinions … or our needs … over His.
Dear Father God, I do want to please You. Forgive me for the times I let my desire to be accepted by a person outweigh my desire to please You. Thank You for Your love and for accepting me unconditionally. Help me to be a better servant, doing the right thing, not the people-pleasing thing, as I grow healthy relationships with others. I pray this and all prayers in the name of the One who was the perfect servant, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. Do you think I am trying to please people? If I were doing that, I would not be a servant of Christ.
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.