Are You People Pleasers or God Pleasers?

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I have dealt with a problem most of my life. I think I got it licked and then it comes back and rears its ugly head. Let me share with you.

I have all my life tried to please people. I have always tried to get people to like me. I get upset if I find out someone doesn’t like me. I try to have relationships with everyone I come in contact with; that includes teachers, preachers, Sunday school teachers, neighbors, friends, you name it. I have tried to be good friends to them all. Most of the time I have succeeded; until now. I have tried in the last year to have a relationship with a certain person and it hasn’t happened. It has really bothered me that I can’t have a relationship with this person. Satan knows it has been bothering me and so he throws punches at me. I see this person on a regular basis and there are times we rarely speak to one another. I see the kind of relationship he/she has with others and long for that kind of relationship, but it doesn’t happen. I have suddenly realized it has now become a problem with my relationship with God.


God has spoken to me so many times over the years about not relying on people, but relying on God. God has shared with me so many times it’s not about having relationships with people, but with Him. Knowing certain people or being friends with certain people or even having relationships with certain people is not going to get me into Heaven. It’s all about having a relationship with God. I know that in my heart, but I can’t get it cleared in my mind. Something I have dealt with for a long time. Unfortunately, one of my daughters is this way. I have shared with her many times what God has shared with me, but like me sometimes it just doesn’t get through.

I know there are many people who share this problem. I am not the only one. So how do we work past this? Galatians 1:10 reminds me, “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.” We have to ask ourselves who we are trying to please and win approval of; is it God or is it human beings? I have to ask why this relationship is so important to me. Is it because I want to be part of the “in” crowd? Do I think being part of the crowd will win God’s approval? Christ was never a part of the “in” crowd. He was always an outsider. He never fit in with those people. He had friends that were often outcasts, looked down on society or those who were looking for a better way of life. Jesus came to serve not fit in. I have to be reminded many times over even when I don’t fit in its okay.

The other thing I often wonder about if it isn’t a pride thing? If I would have this relationship then would I go around bragging about having a relationship with this person? Would I think it would make me look better if I had a personal relationship with this person? Proverbs 16:5 reminds me, “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” This is harsh, but I have to get this pride thing under control or I will be punished. I have to remind myself when I get to Heaven God’s not going to ask how many friends did I make while here on earth, but how many did I share the Good News with.

Another area I have to look at is my priorities. Is my priority more about pleasing man than God? Is my priority more about how many friends I make than how many I share with Christ? Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” If I seek His kingdom first and if I strive to be righteous then God will give me the friends He wants me to have. They may not all fit in the “in” crowd and I may not always fit in, but I will fit in with God.

So once again I have to work on my pride, I have to stop and figure out who I really want to please and I have to decide if I want to “fit in with the in crowd” or do I want to serve God and allow God to lead me to those people He wants me to be friends with.
As I reflect on my life I realize I have some really good friends; friends who love me and hold me accountable and friends who are always there for me and yes friends who sometimes others look down on. God has blessed me with friends who are my family. So why should I fret over one person who has no time for me? Why should I let this person come between me and God? I realize it’s not worth it. Satan will not win this battle and this once again will be laid to rest for awhile.

My advice to you if you are going through this is not to sweat it. Figure out why this relationship or these relationships are so important to you. Ask yourself if it is a pride thing? Would you be proud (in a sinful way) to have this person in your life? If so study the scriptures and see what God says about pride. Are your priorities more about how many friends you have or who you share the Gospel with? As you try to please people instead of God is that coming between you and Him? List those who you consider are good friends on a piece a paper. You may have more friends than you realize. You may not have many, but I bet the qualities of your friendships are worth more than having one more friend that may not be into you.

Remember seek God first and then He will bless you with as many friends as He cares for you to have. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about your relationship with God and putting Him first.

Dear God: I know I have struggled to develop this relationship that is not happening. I have seen others with this person laughing and joking and having a good time. I sometimes envy that. I have let that relationship come between you and me. You have pointed that out. Now I must turn this over to you and let you deal with me and help me move past this. Help me to not let Satan have the upper hand in this. You have blessed me with friends who are like family and for those I thank you for. Teach me to appreciate them more and strive less in trying to fit in. Let me get back to my calling which is serving you. Thank you Lord, for once again reaching down and touching me and teaching me. I am thankful this person is surrounded by friends. Bless this person and the relationships this person has. Thank you for your grace, mercy and your love Amen.


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