Freedom from People
Did I say freedom from people? Oops, I meant people-pleasing. I’m talking about freedom from living to please the people around us rather than God and God alone.
When we live with a mindset that desires to please other people, wanting, even sometimes needing, their approval, we’re giving people power over our lives. We no longer have the power to make our own decisions and certainly, God doesn’t either. We’ve surrendered our future and this power can be, and often is, abused. Power-hungry people almost always end up stealing from you. They will take away your joy, dreams, determination, strength, confidence, destiny, and so forth… the very things the enemy has quite possibly already stolen from them.
The way we start a relationship is always the way we have to nurture it. No relationship that starts with us giving ourselves over like a puppet in the hands of a human puppeteer is a healthy one. When we live for the approval of man we often find our demise in the removal of their approval.
Free people live to please God and want to be surrounded by others who are free. Free-people free people. We must live free, ignoring what others think, if we want to live for God. It’s not an easy task and it may even sound arrogant or foolish but I’m not saying that we shouldn’t continue to get advice and guidance. We absolutely should, but if we’re an adult we make all final decisions with our Father in heaven. He will never steer us in the direction of sin. If our lives are surrendered to the God of the Universe, the God who is always good and calls things that aren’t as though they are, the God who speaks things into creation, eventually our actions will be seen and acknowledged as good too.
What I’ve witnessed is a people-pleaser will often choose kindness, while neglecting wisdom, in the hopes of being liked. Freedom-in-Christ allows us to be wise and still be kind without worrying whether we’re liked. In the long run, being respected is far greater than being liked anyway, isn’t it?
If I’m being honest, what I’m saying isn’t as easy as it sounds. We all want to be liked. We can’t help but want people to admire us. But if we look to Scripture and the people God had real relationships with and used most to build His Kingdom, they were all people who at some point came to the realization that the applause of men eventually fade and having God smile upon you changes eternity.
Each person in the body walks in either discernment or deception. At least in certain aspects of life, if not all of them, there is no middle ground. People-pleasing is truly a deception. We must live for an audience of One. Living to please God and God alone is what’s best for all those around us whether they realize it or not. Someone needs to be the brave one who stands up for truth regardless of the circumstances. Someone needs to show the world that the truth of the Word is even worth giving up popularity, comfort, and the praise of men. Will you be that person?
If you’re struggling with people-pleasing the first step is to recognize and admit it. Next, break any agreements you’ve made with the spirit of fear and declare yourself free from its power. Now, you’ll need to take authority over the fear of man. In the power of the name of Jesus Christ, you must bind the spirit of fear and loose the love, power, and sound mind that God has already given you. You must stand on this truth. Remember, His perfect love casts out all fear. You will walk in this freedom now by faith because without faith it is impossible to please God.