Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Confession: I am a people pleaser. For as long as I can remember, I have sought to gain the approval of people around me. I wanted to know that I was valuable in their sight because if everyone else thought I was somebody then it must be true…right? I cannot tell you how much pain comes from living a people pleasing lifestyle. Nobody knows how much I fight for their acceptance, so when they aren’t so quick to give me their approval I fight harder.

When I was a freshman in High School, I made the JV volleyball team. I heard that many of the older girls did not think I should’ve been put on the team because I wasn’t as good as others. Hearing this sparked my people pleasing mentality and I worked overtime to try to prove them wrong, make my coach proud, and be a valid member of the team. I worked my body so hard that I ended up getting really sick. My body was so tired of trying to keep up with my desire to please everyone that it literally starting shutting down. I got so sick that I could no longer play volleyball, go to school, or do anything the way I usually did. It took almost ten months for my body to recover from my illness. Not only could I not live up to everyone’s expectations of me, but now I could no longer live a normal life. It is no wonder why God’s Word encourages us not to live to please others.

When we look at the story of Jesus’ trial before he was killed, we see the effect of people pleasing take place. Pilate did not want to sentence Jesus to death. In fact, he wanted to release him. However, he had to do what the people wanted, which resulted in Jesus being tortured and killed. People pleasing ultimately led to the death of Jesus Christ.

Now, these are some pretty extreme examples; however, Paul makes it clear that we have an important choice to make about who we are going to aim to please with our lives. Who we aim to please is who we end up living our lives for. Who are you living for?

QUESTION 1. In what ways do you try to please others more than you try to please God?
QUESTION 2. What is the difference between serving people, like Jesus did, and pleasing people in your life?
CHALLENGE: Check your motives as to why you are doing what you do in each area of your life. Reevaluate anything that is done to please others.
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