We live in a time when judging others has become popular entertainment. We have all the reality shows where men, women, and children perform in front of people who judge them. The judges make a decision that will affect the future of the candidates. And sometimes, the comments from the judges can be harsh and hurtful. I have to say, hurtful comments, even if the essence of the message has truth in it, are wrong in the Book I follow.
You may not have put yourself in a situation to be judged on stage. However, many of us step onto a different type of stage whenever we go about seeking the approval of others. And when this choice is a common practice in our lives, the effects can be damaging and even scaring to our souls. Whenever we get into people pleasing we are setting ourselves up to be judged and to have our future changed by others, rather than by the truth and principles of God.
Step Into Freedom – Stop the People Pleasing
So today, on the first day of our Ten Days of Freedom, I encourage you to pause for a few minutes right now. Think about yourself and your attitudes. Are you a people pleaser? Do you behave in ways so that others will like you or judge you as worthy? Do you buy things so others will have an opinion of you? Do you say things to gain popularity?
All of us who have ever slipped into people pleasing know it’s not good for us. I know there are times when the unkind words people have said to me continue to pierce me, even if they were said decades ago. Granted, I’ve learned a lot since then . . . and so what used to cause bleeding now is just a little sting that can be brushed away. I am so thankful for this change in my life.
Do you want that kind of change? Here is what you can do — and as followers of Christ, what we’re called to do — and that is to please God. Let Him be our judge. Let Him be the one to affect your future. Let Him be the one to give you the critique. Let Him be the one to shape you and guide you and direct you.
The Bible says, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10 (NLT)
Here is the truth: when we choose our behaviors so they please God, we will always win! We will always win the contest we have going on inside of us. We will always feel “okay.” And not only will we feel good about ourselves, but we also will bring glory to our Lord. We will serve Christ.
Be that helpful part of yourself and watch how you behave when you’re around people. Choose to walk in the Spirit by seeking God and His kingdom ways first. And rather than putting yourself in a position to be judged by others, allow only your loving Father to be the one who passes along the verdict.
To learn more about shaking off being a people pleaser, read a devotional I wrote for Lysa TerKeurst’s ministry, Proverbs 31 Ministries – On Which Stage Do You Want to Appear?
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