Who doesn’t want to see their kids happy, especially if we are bringing them delight? I love to please my daughters. 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, and in fact, they might actually be upset, or cry because of my answer.
Need a couple of examples? 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 until midnight on a school night when they’re 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 might be with my answer.
When fellow adults make dysfunctional requests, for some reason, for most of us, it is much harder to say “no”. Why is it hard to say “no” to other adults? Sometimes it’s because I think they know more than I do about the situations … 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. “I need…” and “I fear…” lenses are based on a me-centered mentality. These distorted lenses significantly interfere with perspective, and lead to disrespectful, dysfunctional, or even sinful relational conduct.
When we focus on trying to please people by acting dysfunctionally, then our behavior is not serving or pleasing God. If we are truly His servants, then our primary goal will be to please God 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 want approval from people instead of from God. Consequently, 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 that person?” Maybe most of your life is lived to please God, but there are still situations or people that trigger a people-pleasing response in you. 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. Pleasing God is your decision, so choose well.
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. Give me courage and peace to withstand the pressure I feel when others are displeased with my answers. 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.
Kw: Addictions / Addictions Treatment, Mental Health Treatment, Honesty, Insecurity, Relationship with God, Decision-Making, Mind of Christ, Adversity, Behavior, Character, Peace, Practice, Self-Evaluation, Approval, Children, Confrontation, Parenting, Emotions, Needs, People-Pleasing, Conflict