In all things idolatry, there are two sides. Like a battery, there is a positive side and a nagative side to all the times our heart wishes to make something else lord. In the case of fearing man, or people pleasing, those two sides are as follows: a. The over-love of people’s approval and the negative would be, b. The fear of losing someone’s approval. Lou Priolo says in his work, Pleasing People, “The love of man’s approval is inextricably bound to the fear of man’s disapproval. When a people-pleaser interacts with others, his thoughts immediately and instinctively run in the direction of selfishness, anxiety, and fear.”
Here are three bullet points about people pleasing:
- the people pleaser fears the displeasure of man more than the displeasure of God.
- The people pleaser desires the praise of man more than the praise of God.
- The people pleaser studies what it takes to please man as much as, if not more, what it takes to please God.
What are to do to get out from this mess? Seek the pleasure of God more than man. That’s it. Consider your standing in Christ, as a well pleasing child of God in this mystical, wonderful union. Consider the cross, the nails, the blood, all that went into your justification. Consider, too, that what the people pleaser works so hard for is the fickle, sin-tainted view of himself through the mirror of someone else’s eyes.
What at do you desire more, dear reader? Do you desire the pleasure of people or the pleasure of God more? Which party’s disappointment do you fear the most? the Lord Almighty or mere people?