My nature, I’m not a people pleaser, but I don’t like failing either. I set goals, and if I’m honest, I find too much satisfaction in impressing others with my responsible and proactive nature.
Recently, God has been asking me, “Who are you trying to impress here?” Last night, I read in Priscilla Shirer’s book, Discerning the Voice of God, that we are placed on this Earth to glorify our Creator, not ourselves.
“Author and speaker Jill Briscoe tells the story of being in England, wondering whether she should go into some of the local pubs to talk with the kids who were hanging out in there. She worried about her reputation.Worried what people would think if they saw her walking into an establishment such as that. But while she was debating with herself about what to do, the Spirit suddenly and with authority brought to her mind the passage from Philippians 2 that talks about Jesus making Himself ‘of no reputation’ as the King James Version puts it. The raw energy of God’s Word, speaking directly in regard to her question and situation, communicated with clarity to her soul. It was as if God were saying to her, ‘What are you worrying about your reputation for? Even I didn’t do that.'” (Shirer, 148).
John 12 recounts Jesus’ influence among the religion leaders of His day. “[…]at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God” (John 12: 42-43).
I’ve read these verses before, but as Scripture is often apt to do, it targeted me in a new way. Am I more concerned with how I will be perceived than whether I follow Him whole-heartedly? Do I acknowledge the truth but then shy away from proclaiming it because of how I will be received? Am I afraid of losing a certain status/position with people?
What does the Bible tell us about who we should please?
” The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” Prov. 29:25
“Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. ” Jer. 17:5
“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Act. 5:29
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. ” Gal. 1:10
“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” 2 Cor. 5:9
“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” I Thess. 2:4