Are You A People Pleaser?

Galatians 1:10 NET “Am I now trying to gain the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ!”

These are strong words. They show that a person cannot be a people pleaser and be a servant of Jesus Christ at the same time. It is impossible. Many appear to be serving Christ while they are only striving to prove themselves to others.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 NET “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we declare it, not to please people but God, who examines our hearts.”

There is a huge difference between those who are living to please God and those who seek to impress others. The Pharisees were the latter. Listen to what Jesus said to them:

Luke 16:15 KJV “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

People pleasers will always justify themselves or make themselves look good in the eyes of others. This is how they want to be perceived; as innocent, good, and righteous. They resent anyone showing them their faults and causing them to feel guilt. This goes against what they are striving so hard to achieve. Jesus told the Pharisees (who always wanted to look good and justified themselves) that this made them an abomination in God’s sight: “For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God,” Jesus said. Wanting to be highly esteemed (or look so good) in the eyes of others is pride. And God hates pride:

Proverbs 8:13 NET “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; I HATE ARROGANT PRIDE and the evil way and perverse utterances.”

Pride is the Devil’s mindset. And every high, lofty, and proud thing of men is an abomination in God’s sight.

PEOPLE PLEASERS ARE NOT TRUE BELIEVERS

John 5:44 NET “How can you believe, if you accept praise from one another and don’t seek the praise that comes from the only God?”

A people pleaser cannot truly believe in Jesus Christ. They are seeking human praise more than they are seeking, “the praise that comes from the only God.” He/she desperately wants to be seen by others as good, righteous, innocent, and worthy of respect. These people are Divas. They have a god complex that has not been checked. They have Satan’s mentality. They have been deceived by him to follow him instead of God. So many who claim to be religious and claim to be Christians are just like this.

HOW TO TELL IF THIS IS ME?

Are you quickly offended when others correct you? (Ecclesiastes 7:9) Be honest. Do you gloss over your faults (sins) to make them look not so bad? In other words, like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, do you justify yourself? Do you show yourself to be right even when you’re wrong? Is it hard to admit when you’re wrong? Is it a rare thing for you to apologize to others when you know that you have wronged them? If you’ve answered an honest, “Yes,” to any of these questions there is good news for you:

WE CAN REPENT/CHANGE AND LIVE

Ecclesiastes 7:3 NET “Sorrow is better than laughter, because sober reflection is good for the heart.”

Psalm 51:17 KJV “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Proverbs 15:10 NIV “Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.”

If you’ve seen yourself in anything stated above the good news is we can repent and change. The person who can honestly say, “That’s me,” has hope, and can find God’s mercy. God accepts those who feel and show deep sorrow over their sins.

Proverbs 28:13 ESV “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

But the person who sees himself in the mirror of God’s word then quickly goes away and forgets what he/she looks like is lost. They refuse to accept and admit they are wrong. (James 1:23-24) Let’s not be lost. Let God heal your heart. If we repent God promises:

Ezekiel 36:26 NET “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh.”

David prayed:

Psalms 51:10-11 KJV “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”

We should pray like David for a New heart and a Right spirit. David recognized that he was wrong. This is indicated by him asking God to give him a, “RIGHT SPIRIT.” Those who think they are already right (or righteous) will not pray like David did. They think they’ve already got it together. Hence they cannot be healed or saved. David touched on the matter truthfully: he knew he had an unclean heart and a wrong spirit. He analysed himself honestly. Hence he prayed earnestly to God for a clean heart and a right spirit. And God heard his prayer. Only God can remove a wrong spirit and an unclean heart.

Yes, David conducted himself like a Diva for a while. But he got up and repented. There’s a saying, “If you can look up you can get up.” But in order to look up one must recognize that he/she is down, instead of imagining that you’re so high, and now you’re looking down on others. Hmmmm. Back to David, God chastised his son. David accepted his discipline and kept living. May we learn from the great man David; a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) May we learn how to repent from pride and live.

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Why People Hate The Truth

John 3:19 NET “Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 3:20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 3:21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.”

There’s a saying, “When you know better you do better.” I’m not much on human sayings, only those that agree with God. I wish it were true that just knowing something meant you could do it well. Adam and Eve proved that this is not true. They knew exactly what they should do and made the wrong decision anyway. (Genesis 3:6) And so have we. (Romans 3:23)

I used to think the reason why people hated hearing the truth so much was it forced folks to make a decision for right or wrong. Though there is some truth in that some consciences have become so seared that knowing the truth doesn’t prick them at all. (1 Timothy 4:2) Jesus tells us plainly why people hate the truth: ‘Because their deeds are evil.’

Evil and truth do not mix. We are either for one or the other. If a person rejects the truth they are evil, plain and simple. Anyone who thinks otherwise claims to know more than Jesus Christ WHO IS THE TRUTH, the way, and the life. (John 14:6) And everything about Him is the opposite of evil.

IT’S CUT AND DRIED

The matter is settled. God’s judgment is correct and clear. People who reject truth are evil. They fear that their evil deeds will be exposed so they stay far away as possible from the light. Have you ever shared the truth with someone only to be rejected by them afterward? This is why. And it doesn’t matter if they’re your mother, father, son, or daughter, brother, or sister, husband, wife, cousin, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, etcetera. If Jesus says truth haters are evil they’re evil. Can we accept this truth? Or are we evil too?

When you’re resolved to living a sinful life hearing the truth condemns you. This is why most people won’t read the Bible. This is why some are trying to have it banned as hate speech. They know God’s word condemns their evil behavior. Hearing what the Bible says is like torture to them.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

If the Bible is just a book of hogwash why are so many afraid of it? Because it’s the words of Almighty God. And no other book like it discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart. When God’s words are in the midst of a situation everything becomes exposed; true attitudes are revealed. Again, evil people hate being exposed. They like to hide and play in the darkness. Not play outside in the open sun light. This is why many do and will always hate the truth.

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Be Compassionate

You know it’s easy to go around saying things like, “God is on my side.” Or, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” Or, “I’m blessed and highly favored.” Or even, “I’m glad I know Jesus.” But what about the people who don’t know Him? What about those who aren’t blessed? Do we have any compassion for them. Let’s listen to a religious leader who thought he too was, “Blessed and highly favored.”

Luke 18:9-14 NIV “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: [10] “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ [13] “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ [14] “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

This passage shows that just because we think all is well between us and God doesn’t mean it is. So many (like the Pharisee) are trying to reach God through following certain rules, or by possessing special knowledge. And it’s a common thread for these folks to have no compassion for anyone else. But the Bible makes it clear that following mere rules (even God’s rules) will get us nowhere. (Luke 18:18-25) It’s the heart that the Lord is after.

“FASTING I DESIRE”

How many times have we heard religious people tell us they are fasting? They go without food or whatever for a day or so believing this will bring them closer to God. There is a true way to fast that’s spoken of in the Bible. But the moment someone goes around telling everyone he/she is fasting, and complains that they can’t eat anything today, etcetera, they’ve just made what they’re doing null and void. Let’s let God explain why:

Matthew 6:16-18 NIV “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. [17] But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, [18] so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Isaiah 58:5-8 NLT “You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD? [6] “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. [7] Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. [8] “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.”

Did we notice the kind of fasting God wants? Not the mere ritual of going through the motions of looking humble and afflicting ourselves for a day or so. But the affliction that comes from a change of heart. God wants us to behave a certain way towards others. With love and compassion. He wants us to do everything from feeding and caring for the homeless to freeing those who are wrongly imprisoned. From lightening the workloads of employees to removing the chains that bind and oppress people. What God calls fasting and people call it are two different things. What God is really calling all of us to do is BE COMPASSIONATE. Will we answer the call?

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Let’s Play A Game

Ephesians 4:26-27 KJV “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: [27] Neither give place to the devil.”

Let’s play a game called CONQUER ANGER. The object of the game is to, ‘Become angry, and sin not.’ What a game! At times it feels like you’re in a video game of sorts. Only IT’S REAL, and there are real life consequences. You can always count on someone doing or saying something that provokes you to anger. How we respond is what determines whether we win or lose.

Did you know that if we do not conquer our anger we are giving Satan a place (or space) in our lives? Imagine you’re harboring resentment toward someone. At that very moment the Devil gets to build a house, then a village, then a city, a state, a country etcetera in an unseen realm in our lives. Oh this place is very real. You just can’t see it. Now imagine again that same person you’re holding a grudge against. Only this time you decide to obey God and forgive them. That house, village, city, state, or country we allowed the Devil to build in our lives has just been torn down. YOU WIN! YAY!!!😁

2 Corinthians 10:4 KJV “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”

When we become and stay angry with people Satan is building strongholds in our lives. What’s a stronghold? A fortress. A fortified place. A place to hold something or someone securely. Hmmmm. When we obey God and fight with the spiritual weapons of war he gives us we demolish strongholds of the enemy. Now imagine yourself again in the video game called CONQUER ANGER. Are you whipping up on those demons, and tearing down strongholds? Or are those trolls conquering you?

SUPER WEAPON AGAINST ANGER

The most powerful weapon to defeat anger is LOVE. Love is not easily angered. Love is patient. It’s kind (the very opposite of anger). And it doesn’t keep a record of how many times it’s been wronged. Living the life of love which we are commanded to do is the ultimate way to CONQUER ANGER.

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NIV “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. [5] It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. [6] Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”

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Be Quick And Slow

James 1:19-20 ESV “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

There’s a saying: “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so that we can do twice as much hearing than speaking.” God encourages all of His children to be quick hearers and slow speakers. Let’s examine why:

Proverbs 10:19 NASB “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.”

Psalm 39:1 NIV “I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.’ “

John 8:2-7 KJV “And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. [3] And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, [4] They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. [5] Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? [6] This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, AS THOUGH HE HEARD THEM NOT. [7] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Proverbs 17:27-28 ESV “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”

Matthew 12:36-37 ESV “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Proverbs 18:21 NLT “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

After examining these verses have you seen why it is best to be a quick hearer and a slow speaker? Did you know there is life and death in the power of the tongue? How many lives have been ruined because of untimely words? Speaking too quickly can get us into lots of trouble. On the other hand being quick to listen is a sign that we are wise.

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