The struggle with wanting to be a people-pleaser is real. Most of us, struggle with it every day. But what if there was a way to quit trying to please others in just three easy steps?
Last week, we talked about five ways to know if you are an approval addict. If you haven’t read that post, go back and read that here. It’ll only take a few minutes because you can’t get help if you don’t know if you have a problem.
To help us understand these three easy steps let’s look at the difference between two guys and how they handled their need to please.
First up is a guy named Saul. You can find him in the Bible in 1 Samuel. He was tall, dark, and handsome and from the tribe of Benjamite (the least significant of all the tribes). He was sent on a donkey-hunting mission by his father and like most teenage boys wasn’t super-excited about his assignment.
What he didn’t know is that his mission would take him to the “God-man” a prophet named Samuel. Samuel had asked God to provide Israel with a king (cause they wanted to be like other nations) and God said, “If it’s a King they want, then it’s a King they will get.”
Spoiler alert: Saul is anointed as King by Samuel.
But Saul had a small problem that he struggled with and we see for about6 chapters of his story…people-pleasing. Nearly every decision he made he worried about the people and therefore, he did everything in his power to please them.
And it only took a few years before Samuel came back to Saul and told him that God had rejected him as King because he cared more about pleasing man that seeking the approval of God.
Which is where we come to our next guy…well, at the time he was a young boy, about 12-years old to be exact. His name was David. And just like Saul, also grew to be tall, dark and handsome. He was from the lowest of professions in Israel, a shepherd.
Samuel anointed him as king to replace Saul (which Saul could not stand), but unlike Saul who was completely insecure and unsure of himself, David knew who he was and whose He was. David responded out of his identity in God rather than how man defined him.
There are three steps we can take to learn from David. These three ways help us to know what we do grounded in God’s approval and not seeking the approval of man.
Step One: Trust God at His Word
When David was anointed as King, he stood on that word. David didn’t question it, rather he rested in it. He trusted God knew what was best for him. He didn’t waver, he wasn’t insecure and he responded to every challenge with this in mind.
Step Two: Remember God’s Mighty Works
When David came to the battlefield where the Israelites were at a standstill with the Philistines and he told King Saul he could take out the giant Goliath, he did so out of a belief in the mighty work of God. He had already seen God kill a bear and lion with his bare hands, he knew that if God could do that, then he could take down this giant with no problem. David pulled out his sling and secured his rock, remembering what God had already done. He had all the confidence in the world, God could do it again.
Step Three: Believe in God’s abilities more than the abilities of man
When King Saul suggested to David that he put in on his army, David had no faith in him. When he looked at the army sitting on the hill, he had no faith in them. David believed in what God could do far more than he believed in the men around him.
Now I ask you to consider these for yourself:
1. Can YOU trust God at His word?
2. Have you considered the mighty works of God and all He has done?
3. Do you believe in God’s abilities more than the abilities of man?
There is no doubt in my mind that we all struggle and will continue to struggle to rest in knowing we are already fully accepted and approved by God. However, if we consider these three areas, we can begin to see how worthy of our trust our God is knowing that He already knows who we are.
Take a moment and consider those three steps and ask yourself, which one do you struggle with the most?
4 thoughts on “How to Quit People-Pleasing in 3 Easy Steps”
Approval seeking is such a trap. Thanks for the reminder of where we really need to be looking for our approval!
I can certainly relate to this. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to please everybody. It’s stressful and seriously distracting! I’d rather please God over man. 🙂