Do I Seek to Please Men Prov. 29 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Many of us grew up as people pleasers. However, after we are saved, continuing to live as a people pleaser can get you into a lot of trouble. Thus, we want to see what the Bible says about pleasing men and how to break that bad habit.
Men pleasers are:
Afraid – Prov 29:25 they fear men. People pleasers do what they do to gain the approval of men. They are only interested in how they look to men [Eph 6:6, men pleasers]. They love the praise of men more than the praise of God [Jn 12:43]. When you talk to them, for instance, they might hesitate and think hard about what to say so that it comes out just right; so that you approve. God pleasers don’t have to hesitate because “the lips of the righteous ‘know’ what is acceptable,” [Prov 10:23].
Hypocritical – Matt 23:27-28 – outwardly they appear righteous. But they are not what they pretend to be. If they were to say what they really believe or do according to their convictions or be who they really are, they fear that they wouldn’t be approved of men [Mk 11:32; Mk 12:12]. For example, the Pharisees really wanted to kill Jesus but publicly denied that they wanted to kill him [Jn 7:20, 25]. People pleasers pretend to be what they think others will approve.
Discontent – around those whom they are the closest, those whom they trust won’t expose them, they can’t keep up the front, forever. From time to time, the real person is exposed. They might display great anger at home while they are considered the nicest guy by others, for instance. The angry person is not who he wants to be but that is who he really is, regardless whether anyone but his wife knows this about him. People pleasers are never really sure they have your approval. And they are most miserable when trying to gain the approval of others while trying to manipulate them.
Conflicted – people pleasers are conflicted when they must gain approval from two people who are in disagreement with each other. For instance, you can’t please your God fearing parents and your God despising friends at the same time. You can’t please your church family and your school buddies at the same time.
Subverted – when others know you need their approval to feel good about yourself, they will play you like a drum. For instance, they will tell you that you are the best employee while dumping all the extra work on you. This subversion becomes particularly terrible at home when your children learn that you need their approval to feel good about yourself. They’ll tell you how much they love you while treating you like a dog.
Solution: you must fear God only, not men. The ‘positive’ side of the fear of God is seeking God’s approval. You need approval from God. When you do what God shows you to do in the words of God, you are guaranteed to have God’s approval. Jesus was able to testify, “I do always those things that please him,” [Jn 8:29]. But when people pleasers treat God the same way they treat others their spirituality is untrue, shallow, and unreliable. You’re putting on a show. However, when you fear God and please him by obeying what he says then you change. You become who God wants you to be and are no longer concerned with what others think [Gal 1:10]. Please God first… Jesus was a man approved of God [Acts 2:22]. When God approves, men who fear God will also approve [Rom 14:17-18].