Episode 89 - Finding Freedom from People-Pleasing

Have you ever done anything crazy, silly, dangerous, or stupid in order to fit in?  he answer, if we are being completely honest with each other, is most likely yes.And believe it or not, people pleasing is actually something that we are very strongly warned against in Scripture.


In Galatians 1:10, we can read:


10 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.


Right off the bat, in chapter one of Galatians, Paul is saying that if we are trying to please Christ, we cannot seek the approval of man. They're contradictory to each other.  


This doesn’t only apply in our personal lives either. We can feel peer pressure in the church as well. There are times in our church culture that we do things because we feel it's expected of us, not necessarily because we're listening to the Lord's leading. And that doesn't mean that we shouldn't do our part. But it is one of those things that we can very easily fall into pleasing people. 


Ok… so, how do we avoid that? 


The answer is quite “simple”. Listen and submit to the voice of God. 


Knowing how to please God and knowing the one to whom we are to please is how we avoid being a people pleaser. That requires discernment on our part. It requires understanding, differentiating the things that are man pleasing versus things that are God pleasing and knowing the will of God, knowing who God is, knowing his character. (Good news: He's given us all we need to know that.)


It is super clear that the reason why it is important that we don't seek the approval of man is because when we start seeking the approval of man, we compromise the message of the gospel.


We see that in Peter's example from Galatians 2. Peter compromised the message of the gospel because he wanted to please people and he led people astray. Because of that, he compromised the core, essential message of grace.  


And it would be nice to say that none of us have ever fallen into the man pleasing versus God pleasing trap. But we know that we do. 


But yet, there is grace that comes once we realize that and repent and turn away from it. 


It means that we can give ourselves permission to operate outside the box. If there is a box that you feel culture has placed you in, even the Christian culture, it's okay to say,


“I want to hear from God on this before I make a decision.”


It's okay to question why you're doing what you're doing. And to change it, if you see that you need to..


We need to know God more and that means getting in His Word. And reading through Galatians,  it is very encouraging to see how Paul was different in stepping outside the cultural boxes once he began following Christ… and all that we can learn from him. God used Paul’s life!


At the end of the day, it's good to get godly counsel. Scripture tells us to do that. It's good to get other people to recognize that we do have certain giftings in our lives, but ultimately it comes down to obedience to God, with or without the approval or validation of others. 


Whatever that is, recognize it is something that is given to you by God, and no one else can rob you of that. 


For Further Study


Galatians: Living in the Power of the Spirit, a beautifully designed, 4-week Bible Study where you will learn key lessons from the book of Galatians.

This study will challenge you to remember the grace of God and remember how the Spirit is imparted to you. May we each embrace faith and walk by faith in the power of the Spirit every day… that we will be quick to see areas of unbelief, areas of compromise and fear, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill those places with His presence and power.




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