Imagine a room full of people that were asked two questions, “Have you ever feared people’s thoughts and opinions of you?” and “Do you find yourself striving to win the love and acceptance of people?”
What would come to mind?
The first question speaks to what the bible refers to as “the fear of man.” The second question refers to the response of that fear which is known as “people pleasing”. If I was in the room and those questions were asked I would have both my arms up and my two feet! Just saying!
THIS HAS BEEN AND CONTINUES TO BE A HUGE JOURNEY FOR ME!
I don’t know about you but every moment of every day I am faced with the question,
“will you live by and for the thoughts and opinions of people, or will you live by and for the truth and words of your living God?”
Yea…no biggie right?
I wish I could say that it was an easy choice to live out. I wish I could say that I choose the voice and word of God over the POTENTIAL thoughts and opinions of people ALL THE TIME.
Unfortunately, it has not been as easy as it sounds. As a 27 year old (going on 28 whoohoo!) I have had to fight for my right to be defined by the voice of God rather than the voices of people. Living from a place where my security, confidence and value is found only in the Lord is a continuous journey.
In my last post I shared with you a declaration coming out of one of many moments where I had to align my thinking back to reality. The reality that the enemy is liar and God’s WORD prevails. I found myself shrinking back to the voice of fear that tried to shut me up. Fortunate for us, we have already won. I had to remind myself that and the enemy. Now, I want to remind you.
WE DO NOT NEED TO BE BOUND BY THE VOICE OF FEAR!
When we allow ourselves to be bound by the fear of people’s thoughts and opinions, we will begin to live to please people instead of our God. The apostle Paul understood this and made a strong statement towards people pleasing in Galatians 1:10 where he states, “Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Paul also spoke against living to please people in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”
Paul’s deep understanding of being called to live to please the Lord and not people is evident. And to think that I have it hard!
Paul had to combat and confront more than I can even imagine. Proverbs warns us in chapter 29 verse 25 “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” Wisdom states that fearing people is a trap. For me, that trap was embodied in people pleasing.
I have spent most of my life if not all living to please the people around me in hopes of receiving love, applause and value. Last year the playing fields started to shift as I intentionally allowed more of God into this area of my life. My eyes opened to my need for human affirmation and acceptance. I had to surrender it to the Lord in exchange for HIS approval. As I laid down the desire for human applause to pick up God’s, I started to discover a freedom that I had never felt before. I was set free from living to please man and liberated to live to please my God.
I am only starting to scratch the surface of what it means to live to please God rather than people. My next post I would love to share more about my personal journey of fighting against pleasing people and a few practical keys God has given me thus far in overcoming it.
I am so grateful that God is relentless in His pursuit to have all of our hearts. He will not quit revealing more of who He is and who we are in Him as we continue to seek Him.
Let’s break the fear of man and people pleasing on our lives together!
“She Laughs without fear of the future” Proverbs 31:25