Fear Less | People-pleasing
The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6
What can man do to me? Plenty! But if we’re honest, most of us are not afraid that people will attack us, beat us, or murder us. Most of our fear of people is based on what they might THINK of us. We feel tremendous pressure to appear a certain way to certain groups of people. It starts in preschool (“I don’t have the right lunchbox”) and continues until we die (“What if nobody comes to my funeral?”). We are groomed to be peer-dependent in our teens and that training never quite leaves us. “What will they think?” “Do I look cool enough?” “Is my hairstyle, clothing brand, car model, or address impressive?” “Do they like me?”
Fear often dictates our relationships with other people. Instead of selflessly loving, we can be obsessed with their opinions of us. People-pleasing can become a god if we don’t recognize its source. In fact, people-pleasing is a misnomer. We’re not trying to please people; we’re trying to please ourselves by eliciting the responses we want from them. The cure for people pleasing is abandonment to the will of God. The fear of man takes a back seat. When we walk with Jesus, find our value in Him, and seek to honor Him by serving others, their responses don’t matter so much. We’re more concerned with whether Jesus is pleased than whether people are pleased. Only then can we say confidently, “I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Final Thought: How much of your life is controlled by people-pleasing? Is it their happiness or their opinion you want most?
Prayer: Father, I make so many decisions based on what other people might think. That means I’m letting the fear of man control me. I want to abandon myself to you so that I no longer fear what others think about me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.