I have counseled many women with this issue and wanted to share some thoughts with you. Do you aim to please people or God? I think as women we often are people pleasers, we try to keep everyone happy. Often we keep everyone happy at the expense of ourselves. We often find ourselves worn out, frustrated and even feeling “used by people”. What does the Bible say about whom we are to please? In 2 Corinthians 5:9 it says, “So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” Colossians 1:10 says, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
So, I would like you to ask yourself some questions and I hope they change your perspective like they did mine:
1. Do I seek the praise of others more than God?
2. Do I want praise of man above the praise of God?
3. Do I study what it takes to please man as much as (if not more than) what it takes to please God?
4. Am I a respecter of persons?
5. Am I over sensitive to correction, reproof, and other illusions of dissatisfaction or disapproval among others?
6. Am I outwardly rendering eye service to man and not inwardly rending sincere (from the heart) ministry to the Lord?
7. Am I selfishly using the wisdom, abilities, and gifts that have been given to me for God’s glory and the benefit of others for my glory and personal benefit?
8. Am I discontent with the condition and proportion that God has appointed for me?
Please be honest as you ask yourself these questions. I have counseled many women where I have had to confront this sin in their lives. many of them never thought of themselves as “Approval Junkies”. As I have researched this issue in the Bible it is my realization that there is the sin of pride and the idol of a man’s approval that has taken root in their heart. No passion of the human mind is stronger than this. After it has been sufficiently indulged, it becomes so habitual that it occupies all the energy of the soul, or perhaps more accurately, it becomes all the energy of the soul, transforming all the soul’s faculties and all its efforts into servants of its own selfish purposes. ( Timothy Dwight, President of Yale College, from his sermon ” On the Love of Distinction”)
The notion of ”codependency” has been given lots of attention in recent years. There has been countless books, articles, workshops, etc. done to help people get a handle on this pop-psychology buzzword. As Christians we must take care to define and diagnose man’s problem not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught us by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words ( I Cor. 2:13). The Bible is clear in what this called. The Bible calls this concept of codependency ” Idolatry”- looking to someone (or something) else to do for me those things that only God can do. The type of person characterized by this type of behavior is a “people pleaser”. The motive of such an individual is identified in John 12:43: he ” loved the approval of men rather than [or at least more than] the approval of God.
All of this will be developed in my series “People Pleasers”, please follow me as I show you Characteristics of this sin and give you the biblical remedies of this problem.
It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will use the truths contained in this information to remove any spiritual blindness from you and enable you to love the approval of God and not the approval of man.
May God get the Glory!
Cynthia Davis/Co. Founder