For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
The following is a partial list from Vicki Champion (vickichampion.com) on characteristics of a chronic people pleaser:
- Automatically Says YES when they want to say NO.
- Experiences exhaustion from trying to be “perfect.”
- Thinks that if they “do” the right thing they will be “accepted” or “loved.”
- Fear risk or that they might be wrong.
- Bankrupts themselves because they feel undeserving.
- Says “I’m sorry” when no apology is necessary.
- Believe others’ happiness is their responsibility.
- Chooses to be nice over being real.
- Never has enough time.
- Lives with irritability because of constant pressure.
- Tries to control everything for everyone with no regard for his or her self.
- Wonders why they get so little respect and everyone takes advantage of them.
Now let’s try a list of things that would characterize a God pleaser.
- Uses the Bible as their guide, not what is popular or politically correct.
- Obeys God rather than men.
- Knows that they answer to God and looks to Him wholeheartedly.
- Makes it their aim to please God.
- Makes the most of their time, gaining wisdom from God and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
- Puts God first.
- Understands grace, meaning that they don’t have to earn approval or work for their salvation. What Jesus did was enough, so they walk in freedom.
- Doesn’t worry about being liked and is willing to suffer for the sake of the Gospel.
That’s just the beginning of what it looks like to be a God pleaser. I know people who are Christians that don’t have this figured out. They are always busy with silly things and don’t end up having enough time for church or Bible studies. They do things because they think it wouldn’t look right if they didn’t, being more concerned about what others think than with praying and asking God what He thinks. I don’t like being around them because I feel like they are trying to control me or that they have an agenda for me and I’m a pawn in that agenda.
There is a bondage connected to striving in the flesh to please others rather than God. Galatians 5:1 tells us that there is freedom in being a God pleaser, resting in His grace. Paul wrote, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Be free!