|background photo courtesy of morguefile.com|
For those of us who have any kind of background in rejection and abandonment, in abuse and hurt, in loneliness and fear, it is not at all uncommon for any and all of this to manifest in the desire to garner anything from love and approval, to validation and affirmation, to confirmation and attention, and on and on, from others. The problem is not that we desire love and acceptance. Nor is the problem that we desire to please another. The problem, and it is a grave one, is that we look to the wrong source. How so?
God did not create us to fear people and what they think. Nor did He create us to seek the approval and validation of human beings. He created us to love and serve Him, to honor and adore Him, to please and yield our lives to Him. He should be our focus. He should be our concern. Pleasing Him should be our desire. So those of us who have struggled with people pleasing need to repent of the sin of trying to please man and to turn and submit our lives to the Lord so that we please Him.
So does this mean we can earn God’s love and acceptance? To be perfectly honest, no. For we are incapable as humans of ever measuring up to the Lord. This is why He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to the cross to die for our sins so that we could repent of our wicked ways and place our faith in Christ as Lord so that we can be forgiven and be promised eternal life and learn to live our lives for the Lord. We cannot earn God’s love and forgiveness. He already loves us, and His forgiveness comes because Christ bore the penalty for our sins for us.
Well, you might say. What a relief! This means we can live our lives for our own pleasure now, seeking to please ourselves and others, right? Not so. Not in the least. For the love and forgiveness the Lord offers us by His grace alone should manifest in our love and thanksgiving to Him, our lives surrendered to Him, and our heartfelt desire to show forth our love and thankfulness by working hard to do what is right. Born again through faith in Christ, we should now grow in God’s image and strive to live righteously. And, when we fall, we should seek His forgiveness once again, dust ourselves off, and continue to learn how to walk with the Lord – in His ways rather than our own.
Should we be people pleasers? No. Should we be God pleasers? Absolutely. But not to earn His love and forgiveness, but as His loved and forgiven people that now desire to shower our love with how we live our lives upon Him!
Gal_1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Jas_4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Pro_29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.