People Pleasing Is Idolatry
"I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant." (Galatians 1:10 NLT)
In life, you only have to please one person. And that is your Creator. You only have to please the Lord, the one who made you and has a purpose for your life.
That simplifies life enormously! You only need one person's approval: God's.
Jesus said it like this in John 5:30: "I don't try to please myself, but I try to please the One who sent me" (NCV). He said, "I'm living for an audience of one."
You may have never realized this, but people-pleasing is a form of idolatry. The first commandment in the Ten Commandments is, "Don't have any gods before me." Anything you put before God becomes a god. So a boat could be a god. A career could be a god. A girlfriend could be a god. Golf could be a god. Anything that becomes number one in your life that isn't God becomes your god.
The second commandment is, "Don't make any idols." Anything that replaces God in your life is an idol. Success can be an idol. Money can be an idol. Sex can be an idol. A relationship can become an idol. If that relationship to your girlfriend, your wife, your boss, or your friend is more important than God, it's an idol.
When you are a people-pleaser, you have allowed something other than God to take first place. All of a sudden it becomes god in your life, because you are allowing the opinion of others to matters more than God's opinion. What they think of you matters more than what God thinks of you. You don't want to tell them you're a Christian because they might think less of you. For example, you don't want them to know you go to church because they may not like you. At that point, you have another god in your life. You have an idol.
You only have to please one person. Paul says in Galatians 1:10, "I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant" (NLT).
Talk About It
- What in your life have you made your idol?
- What does that idol offer that God does not? What does God offer that your idol does not?