No more peoplepleasing
'Christ has truly set us free...make sure that you stay free.' Galatians 5:1 NLT
Some of us find it hard to give ourselves permission to think, say or enjoy certain things because we fear others will disapprove. We're people-pleasers - we gauge things by what others think, whether it be our family, our peer group, our school or work friends. We are actually operating legalistically, according to our perceived rules of others.
The apostle Paul had a bit to say about people-pleasing. He wrote: '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 NIV). And, when he found out that the Galatians were policing people's lives and forcing them to live by Jewish traditions instead of the Gospel of grace, he wrote 'Make sure...you stay free...don't get tied up again in slavery to the law' (Galatians 5:1 NLT).
It can be really hard to stop being a people-pleaser, especially if we've been one for so long. But, it's healthy to stop being tied up trying to, sometimes obsessively, gain others' approval. People-pleasing is not what God wants for us. He wants us to be committed followers and 'pleasers' of him. He wants us to focus on living for him. He wants us to realise that his love and approval are enough for us.
So what now? Next time you find yourself doing something to gain the approval of others, stop and remind yourself that the only approval that matters is God's and you already have it.
Soulfood: 1 Chr 16-18, John 9:13-23, Ps 105:1-15, Pro 25:23-25