Do you try to please everyone? For too many years I tried. When I realized I couldn’t please everyone I decided there were certain people that I had to please. It took me a while to figure this important fact:
If I worry what people think about me, then I forget what God thinks about me.
There’s a book called The Disease to Please by Harriet Braiker, PhD. Interesting title! Trying to please people is a disease, or a sickness. In the book she says that people pleasers are addicts. Just as a drug addict seeks drugs, people pleasers seek approval.
People pleasers are more than just nice people who are trying to make everyone else happy. They can’t say no. They fear confrontation or making others angry. This fear forces them to use “niceness” or “people-pleasing” as a defense mechanism. For more about the book or Harriett Braiker see www.diseasetoplease.com
So if psychology says that people pleasing is a disease or an addiction. What does God say?
25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)
“Snare” in the Hebrew means a noose to trap animals, or very literally a hook in the nose.
I have been amazed the times I have seen a 2000 pound bull being led around by a 200 pound man. How? The bull had a ring in his nose.
So when you try to please people it’s like you’re being led around by a hook in your nose. “Hey, can you compromise your values for me?” “Sure.” A hook in the nose
“I’m going to buy things to impress you, why, because I have this hook in my nose.” I’m being pulled by what you think.
Not a pretty picture. BUT…I love “buts” in the bible! “But, whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Trusting the Lord keeps you safe from being dragged around by others.
Here’s another great point,
9 Fear the LORD, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Psalm 34:9 (NLTse)
When you “fear” or honor God, you “will have all you need.” I have been guilty of thinking, “I need this person’s approval, I need this person’s support.” What I really NEED is God. He’s the one who meets my needs. He may use people but it’s ultimately from God.
When I honor God above people, then I don’t need the approval of people because I have the approval of God.
God has to become bigger to me than people. When people want me to compromise my values, because God is bigger I can say no.
When people want you to over commit your time, money or energy it’s so easy to think, “Well I don’t want to let them down.” But when you fear God, it’s not a big deal. Because it doesn’t matter what they want; it’s about what God wants. If God is bigger to you, you will do what God wants.
The cure for the fear of what people think is, is the fear of God.
For more about the series, You’re Fired! Go to www.ridgefellowship.com