10 Am I trying to win over human beings or God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I wouldn’t be Christ’s slave.
If I were to list my characteristics that most get in my way, people-pleasing would be at the top. Perhaps some of that is the product of being the youngest in my family. It also may be a taught characteristic of being female. Whatever the cause, I often find that my people-pleasing takes a toll on me spiritually and mentally. Yes, of course I know I can’t please everyone, but my mindset often defaults to, “but I’m sure going to try.”
People are diverse and unique in thought and opinion. It’s impossible to put even just two people together and not have there be any kind of disagreement or difference in thought. And that’s a good thing, we don’t want to be carbon copies of one another. But it also means that the bigger a group, the less people you’re going to agree with. Some people just don’t want to like you. Trying to please everyone will get old quick and will lead to a lot of disappointment and the feeling of failure. To people-please often means to compromise your own voice and opinion.
When I find myself getting stuck in a loop of people-pleasing, resulting in me feeling like I’m letting everyone (myself included) down, I remember this text. Who is at the center of my choices: my trying to make someone happy (or at the least, not mad at me) or is it God? I find that often, people-pleasing and God-pleasing are in conflict with one another.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Are you a people-pleaser or do you know one? In what ways can we offer ourselves or that person some grace in seeing the people-pleasing as coming from a desire to make people happy WHILST nurturing ourselves (or them) into a mindset of: “Is this good between me and God? Then we’re good.”
Prayer: Loving God, we often fall away from what you’re asking of us and get caught up in what the world asks of us. Guide us back to you, Lord. Amen.