Thursday, November 26, 2015

Becoming a People Pleaser

Have you ever been called a people pleaser? If you have, it probably stung a bit as its meant to be a put down. Typically, if a person is a people pleaser, they are more concerned with having everyone like them than with obeying God and/or standing up for their convictions. This person typically has no backbone. They are wishy-washy. They are often a very frustrating individual. 

But did you know that the Apostle Paul was a people pleaser? Seriously. Much of 1 Corinthians and all of Romans 14 is about pleasing others. He says, "...I try to please everyone in everything I do". 1 Cor 10:33a Can you imagine that? Don't just imagine it, read it for yourself. Read how he says to give up your freedoms so as not to cause others to stumble. Wow, right!?! The pharisee, the hater & murderer of Christians became a people pleaser? What in the world would cause him to change in this way? Well I'm glad you asked.

A personal encounter with Jesus is where it started. This encounter led to a desire to bring Him glory. Out of this desire sprung forth obedience to Christ's Great Commission and an understanding that we, by pleasing people, give opportunity for Gospel seeds to be planted & watered. 

You see, we are to be people pleasers that we might be God pleasers. We please people not that we might gain, but that God might be glorified. We're people pleasers that they may be well-saved not that we might be well-liked. It's not that we compromise the truth, it's that we compromise our desires and maybe even rights. No desire to do this? Maybe you haven't personally encountered Jesus. It has to start there. Being biblical people pleasers, has everything to do with why & how we are pleasing people. 

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God! Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved!!!( 1 Corinthians 10:31-33,punctuation added)


  1. As I began to read this in the recent EBC update, I felt you were way off base and actually started getting a bit mad over what you were saying.

    I've been a people pleaser all my life, but not because I'm a push-over, wishy-washy, or just want people to like me. I'm a people pleaser because I was taught to give the benefit of the doubt and be at peace with all so far as it depends on me. I believe it's the way God wants us to live.

    So with my hackles up and my words ready to give you a lesson on humility and Godliness, I got to the core of what you were driving towards...that being a people pleaser IS the temperament God would drive us to, if His will, word and spirit is the compulsion behind that temperament. I made the wrong conclusion before reading the whole thing.

    So I got two lessons out of this...keep being who I am with Christ as the driving model to follow, and get the whole context before discounting another person's heart.

    I'll be a regular reader of your blogs. Thanks for challenging me.

    1. Hi Stacy, I know I told you in person, but again, thank you! You've encouraged me with your kind words and your humility. It's a blessing to serve at EBC with you!

  2. Although I think I understand what you're saying here (being a people pleaser myself) I have to say I disagree with your statement that Paul is a people pleaser. I seriously doubt that the people who stoned him, imprisoned him and lashed him several times were "pleased" with the gospel of Christ he was unrelentingly and unabashedly preaching.

  3. Galatians 1:10
    "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ."

    1. Hi Nikki! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject! Sorry it's taken so long to respond...
      I'd like to point out 2 things in response:
      1. I think your responding to Paul being a people pleaser based on the usual conception of "people pleasing". I think that my blog redefined what it means to be a godly people pleaser. The last paragraph (just before the Scripture) lays this all out.
      2. You're right, the people who persecuted Paul were not pleased with Paul or the gospel he was presenting. But we are never responsible for people's reactions. We are responsible for how we conduct ourselves and what we say. Galatians 1:10 is speaking to the issue of why Paul was doing what he was doing. It's not to gain the favor of men but to please God as a bond-servant of Christ. Hence, we speak the truth in love and do not present additional stumbling blocks so that "just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved! 1 Cor. 10:33"