How to Overcome Being a People Pleaser
There is only one remedy I know of to avoid being a people pleaser and that is learning to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in all we do. That is one of the most exciting things about being a Christian.
As believers, the Holy Spirit lives inside us. He desires to lead us in everything we do, from how we handle our finances, to the type of job we have, to the house we live in, to what we do or don’t do for others. He does not want to just be involved with the spiritual side of our lives; He wants to be involved with the natural side of our lives too.
I love what Romans 7:6 says: But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. What Paul is saying is, when we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we experience newness of life—peace, joy and contentment—that cannot be experienced when we live under the “shoulds,” the “oughts,” the obligations and the expectations of being a people pleaser.
It All Comes Down to One Thing…
Motives… Why are we doing (or not doing) something? Are we being motivated by fear, personal gain or a sense of obligation? Are we being motivated by a desire to be in control, accepted or seen? These are all the wrong reasons for doing something. Our motive for doing anything should always be because God has prompted us and we want to please Him. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit means we are motivated by the fruits of the Holy Spirit, such as love, kindness and goodness. What the Spirit leads us to do or not do, He will give us a peace about.
Remember, whatever you and I do, if we will do it as unto the Lord, our lives and the lives of others will be blessed. If you help a family member, do it as unto the Lord. If you visit with relatives, do it as unto the Lord. If you work in the nursery at church, do it as unto the Lord. If you are getting dressed, washing the dishes, driving to work, cutting the grass, or going to the grocery store, do it as unto the Lord.
In other words, with everything you do, do it with the motive of pleasing God. The result will be a new measure of joy and enthusiasm in your life—even in the everyday, ordinary things.
I encourage you to shake off the way people think or feel about you and just begin to do what you feel God wants you to do. If you need strength in this area, and I think we all do, pray and ask the Lord for His grace to follow after His voice instead of the pressures and demands of others. That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things…(Colossians 1:10).
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