Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.—Galatians 1:10
I admit it. I am a people pleaser. Very few things in life give me greater joy than pleasing others whether with gifts or words or time or actions. I just get happy pleasing others and a lot of times I seek to please others at great cost to myself. I will sacrifice my needs, my wants, my desires, and at times even my joy in order to please others. I don’t always speak the truth even when I know I should because I am afraid of displeasing or hurting people. Is this wrong?
Yes. It is not wrong to do things for other people. It is wrong when we are doing to out of our selfish desires, fears or to please man. The Bible tells us to do nothing out of selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3). If we serve others and seek to please others out of our own selfish ambition, then we are doing it for the wrong reasons. You might ask, “But if I’m helping others how am I being selfish?” It turns into selfish ambition when we want other people to see what we are doing and praise us for our good works. I was dating someone who did that. He determined his self-worth by the praise that he received from others. I will confess that there are many times when I will help others out of selfish ambition because I am concerned about doing the right thing or because I am worried about what other people with think if I don’t. When we water down the truth or refuse to stand firm on issues that the Bible says are wrong, then we are seeking to please man.
Who should we try to please? We should be seeking to please Christ (Galatians 1:10). We cannot call ourselves servants of Christ if we are seeking to please man over Christ. To be a servant of Christ means to stand firm on His foundation, to obey His Word, and to seek to live a life that is pleasing to Him, not man. Our lives are meant to be a reflection of His light and His love. Yes, He loves everyone, but He didn’t back down on the issues. He stood firm. He didn’t change.