Stop Trying to Please People

Please note: stop trying to please others.

Not only does it cause anxiety and frustration for you, it does not acknowledge that God has made you and has a plan for your life and that you are unique.   The only one whom we should try to please is God.

The other day I was having a conversation with a leader I really admire and he admitted that he gets stuck trying to please others. I know this happens to lots of you. I think leaders often struggle with this, alone. And over time I think it causes burnout and despair.

I struggle with this on occasion. You would think that I would shake this desire and figure this out by now. I haven’t. Seasons of my journey have been all about relenting of who I expect myself to be in order to please others. Sometimes it’s exhausting.

  • I want to please my kids.
  • I want to please my colleagues.
  • I want to please my bosses.
  • I want to please other leaders.
  • I want to please family and friends.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with pleasing and serving and loving others . Christ follower should do these things. But it becomes dangerous when it becomes your drive and inspiration.

Where does this come from? Why does it continue to dog me? I am not sure I know.

I am learning though…to embrace the truth. I am learning to embrace the truth of who  I really am – that God made me, well, to be uniquely me. My journey has been a long one and I’ve often stumbled. But I know that there is only one I will answer to.

When I veer off course, Psalm 139 always reminds me that I am unlike any other.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:14)

Moreover, Jesus has made the ultimate sacrifice for me so that I could step from darkness into the light:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

The truth is, I don’t fit a mold or standard; I can’t be like everyone else nor  can I please everyone.

I have to trust God and be the best version of me. I believe the scriptures that Christ died for me because he loves me. These are the truths I must acknowledge. I am loved by the creator of the universe and therefore no other opinion of me matters.

So if you’re trying to please others, stop it. You are fearfully and wonderfully made to be uniquely you.

Author: Patrick

Patrick O'Connell is the Global Director of NewThing. He is passionate about helping people start new things. He didn't grow up in church. He dabbled in atheism and punk rock (which he still loves) but eventually found his way back to God. He wants to leverage his knowledge, experiences and understanding of church planting and Kingdom to help people find and follow Jesus. He's sold out for the mission of God and believes that the church is the hope of the world. He's married to Nancy and they have three great kids. He likes to run, read and hangout with friends.

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