People Pleasing Doesn’t Please Me

Here’s the thing about people-pleasing: don’t do it.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10.)

pleasing people

Here’s what to do instead:

We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4.)

I hope you’re pleased with this post. No, wait … what I mean is … that is to say …

Oh, puh-lease!


And for your pleasure:


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to People Pleasing Doesn’t Please Me

  1. Timely reminder. Thanks.

  2. Greg Hahn says:

    I said something yesterday that I hated to have to say. It probably won’t make me popular. But it was simply true and I needed to say it. So thank you, this was timely for me too.

  3. As someone who has been a people-pleaser since a young child, I have to continually remind myself to unyoke that burden. It’s a daily thing but it makes life so much more bearable when I fix my eyes on Christ and not on whether people are happy with me or not.

    • Tim says:

      That passage in Hebrews 12:1-2 about focusing on Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith is one that encourages me whenever it comes to mind. Whether others are pleased with me or not, Jesus is for me.

  4. Pastor Bob says:

    Since you brought up the Beetles:
    This is a thought from them that many say would be eternal:

  5. Laura Droege says:

    THis is such an issue for me, not just in my personal encounters with people, but in the business/writing side of my life. So much advice on platform building, marketing, etc., revolves around getting in front of a target audience and getting their attention. Guess what that involves? Pleasing people! (Even if you make them angry, as long as they keep coming back to your social media site(s), many people would consider that a success. At least more of a success than people who look at your work, yawn, and forget you. Lackluster reactions=lousy sales of whatever product you’re selling, whether that’s a book or product or yourself.)

    So, naturally, many people, including me, want to please people in what they write or how they present themselves on social media. It’s really hard to keep focused on God. Thanks for the reminder of who is truly important and what he thinks of me. Not that I’m pleased with the post or anything . . .

    • Tim says:

      Your description of what it takes to please people in the marketing sense reminds me of that old song lyric about signs: “Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs … .” I am too weary of trying to keep up with the world’s signs of how to do things, Laura. How blessed we are in Jesus’ rest.

  6. dpersson7 says:

    The problem with people pleasing is that you can’t please everyone you come in contact with. You will inevitably make somebody angry because we are all limited in our abilities and generally because of limited resources you can never do what every person wants you to do. The biggest issue for me as someone who tries to please others is not allowing a person’s disapproval to affect my perception of how God sees me. That has always been a weakness that I’m now trying to overcome. You are absolutely correct that what God thinks is the only important thing. When the Creator of the universe loves you; what does it matter what anyone else thinks, right?

  7. Yet we teach our children to please people, don’t we? Girls especially. And some of us grow up believing co-dependency is perfectly normal. Mind you, that’s not necessarily about pleasing people as believing it is your duty to meet all their needs in whatever reasonable or unreasonable manner they desire, and without regard to having your own needs met. I guess it comes down to knowing what it means to love the Jesus in you with the Jesus in me,.. kind of thingy. I am never sure I make any sense when I try to put these things into words. Good post, though 🙂

    • Tim says:

      Yes. It’s an unwarranted sense of duty that can drive one of think pleasing others is a Christian duty. It’s not of course but some still cling to it instead of clinging to Jesus.

  8. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for talking about this today, Tim: it’s something I think we all struggle with. The fact that Paul even addressed it shows its universality!

    Since we’re on songs, here’s another: “I can’t do what ten people tell me to do, so I guess I’ll remain the same.” While we don’t want to remain stagnant all our lives, just being the self God made us to be & being content with that is probably the way to go.

    • Tim says:

      I was just listening to Dock of the Bay on the radio, Jeannie. That struggle of being pulled around by others’ desires can tear a person apart.

  9. In my mind people pleasing is such a double edged sword. I know I’m genuinely happy when people are pleased with what I’ve done/said/written particularly if there was no attempts to doctor that or present something that was untrue or unduly sugar-coated. To make people happy makes me happy and it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.

    At the same time when you try to twist yourself in order to try to please people it can be so discouraging. Especially when even with all your contortion that person (or people) still isn’t happy. That is the kind of people pleasing that leaves one not feeling so good. Of course such people pleasing can leave us trying to please others over pleasing God, as Paul was indicating in both of those verses.

    • Tim says:

      Your two paragraphs here, Jeremy, show exactly what I’ve experienced too. Doing something that others appreciate is great, and I think this is part of God’s blessings in people’s lives.

  10. yael58 says:

    Love the condescending Willy Wonka; and of course, The Fab Four almost always please pleases me. 😁

    • Tim says:

      Gene Wilder owned that role. Wonka didn’t care about pleasing people. He cared about good candy and knew if it was good enough it would sell. There’s a spiritual application in there somewhere, just give me time to find it!

      • Tina says:

        This reminds me of a story Corrie ten Boom told which may or may be applicable to your “good candy” comment. She visited a group of people who had been arguing about the Bible and gave them all chocolates. Later, when she stood to speak, she told them that no one had said anything to her about the chocolate.

        They said no, they’d all thanked her for it.

        She said she didn’t mean that. They didn’t ask her whether it was German, Dutch, Swiss, etc. Instead of analyzing it, they just ate it.

        Then she picked up the Bible and said, “It’s the same with this Book. Like chocolate, it’s meant to be eaten and enjoyed, not picked apart bit by bit.”

Talk to me (or don't)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.