“For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 CSB
In a 2017 article titled “10 Signs You’re a People Pleaser” from Psychology Today it lists 10 ways you can tell if you’re a people pleaser or not, here they are. You pretend to agree with everyone. You feel responsible for how other people feel. You apologize often. You feel burdened by the things you have to do. You can’t say no. You feel uncomfortable if someone is mad at you. You act like the people around you. You need praise to feel good. You go to great lengths to avoid conflict and you don’t admit when you’re feelings are hurt. The first line of the article sums it up well: “You’ll never reach your goals if you’re trying to be all things to all people.” God is telling us the same thing in today’s verse, if we’re going to serve Him, we have to stop the people pleasing.
I do have some of the traits listed in the article. I’m uncomfortable when people are angry at me and I don’t like to admit when my feelings are hurt. Yours may be different, you might not have any of them. In today’s world with the interconnectedness we have through the internet and social media, it is much more challenging to not care what people think. We know more now than ever before and actions always speak louder than words. Putting people before God is incredibly easy, especially if you’re a mom, you watch your heart run around outside of your body. I can’t even imagine what that is like.
Jesus didn’t live to please people, He came to save us, not please us. Jesus is counter intuitive, He didn’t react to situations as we do. My favorite picture of this is found in John 8:1-11. The religious leaders interrupted Jesus teaching by dragging a woman who had been caught in adultery to Him for judgement. Jesus didn’t say a word, He just knelt and began writing in the dirt. Then He stood up and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone” (John 8:7 NLT). Scholars have debated what He wrote for years. I think it was the sins of all of those standing around them because one by one they all walked away until only Him and the woman were left. He turns to the woman, asks where her accusers are, and she replies gone. He then says these precious words to her, “Neither do I (accuse you), go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NLT). Jesus didn’t care what people thought, He cared about what His Father in heaven thought. Jesus knew God loved her and He was too love her as well, no matter what her sin was. If He had cared what people thought, He would of let them stone her. But Jesus knew better, He knew Who He wanted to please. We need to ask ourselves the same thing: Who do we want to please, God or man? Pleasing God takes work, but it’s worth it. The reward far out ways all else.