I just want to share something that I have been thinking about today.
I don’t know about you, but often I find it hard to think, say, or enjoy certain things because I fear what other people will think about me.
I think the root of it comes out of always wanting to please people. We want others to like us, to approve what we do, so we overthink everything. We live our lives by other people’s opinions of us instead of our own or God’s opinion of us. But rather, we need to start training ourselves to worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks about us.
‘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’ (Galatians 1:10).
It can be really hard to stop being a people-pleaser. Society so often tells us that we need to be a certain person, look a certain way, have lots of friends, and behave in a way that will make us popular. But that’s not God’s way. He wants us to be committed followers of Him. He wants us to realise that His love and approval of us is more than enough for us.
When Paul found out that the Galatians were trying to police people’s lives and force them to live by Jewish traditions instead of the Gospel of grace, he wrote ‘Make sure…you stay free…don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law’. We don’t need to be tied up in trying to please others to gain their approval, or follow rules obsessively to gain God’s approval. The only approval that matters is God’s, and we already have it.
So what can we do to help try and combat this ‘people-pleasing’ habit?
Next time you find yourself doing something to gain the approval of others, stop and remind yourself that you already have God’s approval. Ask yourself, why am I thinking of doing/saying ‘xxx’, is it to try gain the approval of others?