While psychiatrists, psychologists, and self-help books may be quick to say the root of the problem goes back to our childhoods, to unfaithful spouses, to all sorts of hurts and fears and who knows what else, and while those of us who have faced the struggle of people pleasing are so often told that we need to learn to put ourselves first and set boundaries with others, the Bible does not teach us that self is the answer. So what then is the root of the problem, and what then is the answer?
Quite simply, God did not create us to love ourselves with all our hearts and minds; He created us to love Him with all our hearts and minds (Matthew 22:37). He did not create us to serve ourselves; He created us to serve Him. He did not create us to put ourselves first; He created us to put Him first. And He did not create us to fear people and how they will respond to us; He created us to fear Him. He created us to love, respect, revere, and, yes, to fear Him. We were created to love and worship and obey Him. Yet in our me-centered lives, and our me-centered world, we learn that we should put ourselves first. And for those of us who have struggled with people pleasing, we learn to manipulate others to love and accept us by trying to please them. Where does God fit into this me-centered equation. He does not! And therein lies the problem. People pleasing isn’t just a problem, then; it is a sin. For to fear humans instead of God, to manipulate others by pleasing them to make ourselves happy and content, to desire to please ourselves and other people before pleasing God, to fear humanity rather than to fear God, this is all sin against the Lord. And the answer is simple. We need to repent for our sins against God, place our trust in Jesus as Lord who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, receive God’s forgiveness and mercy, and commit ourselves to the ways of the Lord as the Bible teaches us. The freedom we will find in living for the Lord instead of living for ourselves and ever trying to please others to get what we want is one of the countless rewards we will discover in loving and serving the Lord with all our hearts and minds as He created us to do.
If you struggle with people pleasing, recognize it as sin against God, and are truly sorry for sinning against Him, repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, commit your ways unto God, dig into the Bible daily for teaching and transformation, and enjoy the endless blessings of living for the Lord God almighty instead of living according to the me-centered ways of this world!
BELOW are some of the numerous scriptures in the Bible teaching us to fear the Lord. These scriptures are from www.kingjamesbibleonline.org.
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD [is]the beginning of knowledge: [but]fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the LORD [is]to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Matthew 10:28 – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is]the whole [duty]of man.
Proverbs 14:26 – In the fear of the LORD [is]strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Job 28:28 – And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is]wisdom; and to depart from evil [is]understanding.
Psalms 33:8 – Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
Deuteronomy 10:12 – And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of the LORD [is]a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Psalms 25:14 – The secret of the LORD [is]with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
Luke 1:50 – And his mercy [is]on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Psalms 111:10 – The fear of the LORD [is]the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalms 86:11 – Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I [am]with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am]thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Philippians 2:12-13 – Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Read More…)
Proverbs 16:6 – By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men]depart from evil.
Psalms 34:9 – O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for [there is]no want to them that fear him.