The Impossible Pit of People-Pleasing


How can you courageously follow God’s call on your life instead of seeking to please people?

Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.” (1 Samuel 15:24, NKJV)

Prior to disobeying God’s instruction, Saul gathered his small army in Gilgal to prepare for battle against the Philistines. As Philistine military forces increased, so did terror among Saul’s men.

Rather than encourage his men and remind them that God could save by many or by few, Saul allowed their fear to incite him to disobedience. Ultimately, we serve what we fear. Saul suffered and lost his kingdom due to repeated acts of disobedience. He was an insecure leader who measured his worth by what the people said about him.

We, too, are at risk when we place people’s opinions above God’s directives for our lives. He calls us to a higher standard than our society’s mores. We are all leaders in some way, whether as parents, ministry leaders, or friends. As such, we need to lean in to hear God’s voice above the distortion of our world. If not for His voice, we too may fall into the impossible pit of pleasing everyone around us—everyone, that is, except God.

Seek God and ask Him if there are any areas in which you are seeking to please people more than to please Him. Have you ever changed your actions (or withheld action) because you feared someone’s opinion of you, your family, or your ministry? How can you courageously follow God’s call on your life instead of seeking to please people?

Adapted from Girls with Swords: How To Carry Your Cross Like A Hero (WaterBrook Press, 2013).

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