If you’re anything like me, you’re happiest when everyone around you is happy. You do all you can to accommodate everyone’s requests. You end up committing to many things that you really don’t want to do because denying someone’s invitation or request is basically an inconsiderable option. You have made promises to yourself time and time again to finally learn how to say “no”.
I’ve always thought that unless I was going against my personal beliefs and values, pleasing as many people as possible couldn’t be wrong. After all, if I make people happy and do what they ask of me, won’t Christ in me be more visible to them?
Then, as always, God reminded me of what His Word says.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of God.” (Galatians 1:10)
Ouch. Personally victimized by the Word once again.
When we are seeking to please people, we are becoming servants to them before God. There’s a fine line between serving people while loving God and serving God, then as an outpouring, serving the people He has called us to love.
Paul continues in Galatians: “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his face, was pleased to revel his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.”
As humans, we love to have people’s confirmation and approval. It’s natural. But it’s not of God. When God calls us, we should only be concerned about hearing more from Him. If there is any chance that we will be swayed by the approval of those we share with, we need to be aware of that and share wisely.
And as for pleasing people, we need to stop trying. While we may think this will turn into a disaster in our relationships, I believe just the opposite will result. When we stop filling our planners with obligations to our friends and families and start focusing on sowing for God only, our relationships, as well as every aspect of our lives, will grow and prosper.
We need to learn the power of saying “no” to people and saying “yes” to God.
We need to lose our servanthood to others and strengthen our servanthood in the One who created us.