“People-Pleaser or God-Pleaser?”
By Zach Wood
Galatians 1:10 (NIV)
“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.”
There is not a single person in this world that does not, in one way or another, desire to be liked by another human being. Every one of us, no matter our personality or how we were raised, desires to be accepted and liked by other people. Who wouldn’t?? Who would want to live a life being rejected by people all the time? Nobody desires that kind of life.
While we do have a desire to be liked and accepted by others, and there’s nothing wrong with that, we can also take that to an extreme and become obsessed with getting others to like us. It doesn’t take long for so many of us to behave in certain ways in order to draw attention to ourselves. Sometimes it’s just emotions getting the best of us. Sometimes we just get lonely and t desperate for someone to notice us.
Look at the title of this devotional and ask yourself whether you are a people-pleaser or a God-pleaser. Don’t answer that too quickly. It’s so easy to look and respond quickly that we desire to please God and not people. But if we took an honest look at our life each day, I think we would notice right away that we strive to please people way too much. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to impress others and present ourselves well, but we can go to the extreme of that just to get people to recognize us and like us.
I’ve often shared that Paul is one of my favorite characters in Scripture. He experienced more than any of us probably will ever experience. He went through so much and put up with much pain and strife. He struggled more than many others did and he learned much as he dealt with his tough experiences.
Of course he tried to please people, but he came to learn and realize that it was so much more important to be concerned with what God thought than what people thought of him. He got to the point where he didn’t care what people thought of him. He became more concerned about making sure he was pleasing God. He knew Who he was serving and that meant more to him than trying to people other people.
The question is very simple this week. Who are you trying to please? Is it God or the people around you?