We have all gone through instances where we have someone come up to us and give us an opinion on how we should do something, how we should think or how we should behave. They might feel they know what is best for us and how we should live our lives. These people are not bad people. They are people that probably do not have any bad intentions. But it is a problem with boundaries that makes them believe that they can say out their opinions freely to us. But what we do with these opinions is what matters. Sometimes, we have a problem with boundaries as well and we let the opinions of others influence our decisions. When we have too many opinions being thrown at us, we struggle to find the voice of God to direct us in the right way. So, we are left confused and worn out.
The need to please others all comes down to motive. Why are we doing something? Why are we not doing something? There are many wrong motives that can make us crave the approval of others over God. We could be motivated by fear. We are scared that if we do not please a certain person, we may face rejection from that individual. This fear might drive us to please that person or people.
We might want to please others for personal gain. We please others to receive a positive evaluation from them, which in turn will make us feel satisfied. This motive can result in the sin of pride. We do our best to get the approval of others so that we can look good in front of them. A ministry rooted in this type of motive will always fall due to pride. But when we serve the Lord with the intention of pleasing Him first, the ministry will prosper. God did not create us to find our worth in others. If that were true, then we would see the popular celebrities being satisfied with their lives. However, recently we have heard of many celebrities in the media taking away their own lives. People adore them and look up to them. But that does not give them true satisfaction.
We might also want to please others as a sense of obligation. This is where boundary lines are crossed. We are afraid to say no to someone. We then take on too much. We take on things that God never intended for us to take on. And so we miss what God wants us to do with our lives. Our motive of feeling obligated to someone makes us fall out of God’s will. Ladies, God has a plan for each and every one of us. But He needs us to look to Him and Him only to figure out what that plan is.
Today, I am encouraging you to stop looking at the way people think or feel about you and do what God wants you to do. This is a challenge that my husband and I had to face as well. We are the youth leaders at our Church, which is a Tamil Church. There is a big generational gap between the adults of the Church and the youth of our Church. God led my husband and I to break a lot of traditions at our Church to make way for the youth to grow. This was not easy. We had a lot of people who did not like what we were doing and talked a lot of negative words about us. But we knew what God wanted us to do. Even to this day, there are a few people who do not like us. As hard as it may be, we know that we had to put God first. We had to shake off those voices of opinions. We want to please God first and follow His will. Due to all that we endured, the youth ministry at our Church as grown in the last few years. I am not saying this to boast about ourselves. We are not perfect and we still face challenges. But we have learned to please God first. When we put God before people, He will use us to do powerful things. I encourage you to think of your life today. In what ways are you pleasing others before pleasing God? The constant need to have the approval of others can become an addiction. Make a decision to please God first and see how powerfully He can use you to change things and make differences.