Why it's not always good to be a people-pleaser

Christians are expected to be the most caring and kindest of people, it comes with the territory. But sometimes that can mean being expected to answer any and every request for help, whether emotional, physical, or financial.

And that's simply not always possible.

[Unsplash/Dan Gold]

When pleasing people has to stop

The Bible does tell all of us believers to entertain strangers (see Hebrews 13:2), love our neighbors (see Mark 12:31), and to not withhold what is good from those it is due to when it's in our power to do it (see Proverbs 3:27).

These things, among others, convince us that we should be really good people always available for the needs of others.

But sometimes our action towards others, even if it is well intentioned, can cause us to actually disobey God. Galatians 1:10 tells us,

"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ."

As such, there is a point when the people-pleasing has to stop. It stops when we are no longer pleasing the Lord.

The Bible is clear about its instructions for all who believe in Christ:

  • All of us who believe are commanded to love God above all, and then love our neighbors the way we love ourselves. (see Matthew 22:37-40)
  • All of us who have received the Gospel, repented of our sins, and believed in and follow the Lord Jesus Christ are commanded to go and preach the Gospel to all of creation and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them all the Lord Jesus has taught. (see Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20)
  • All of us are to pray for and seek the salvation of souls, because the fields are ready for harvest and God wants all men to be saved. (see John 4:35; 1 Timothy 2:4)

One more instruction that needs to be followed is one that Paul gave to us as a warning:

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

These people, despite God's free gift of grace made available for them too, are to be avoided -- not because they are disgusting, but because we cannot allow them to abuse us, hurt us, and influence our choices, especially where these take us away from God.

While we continue praying for them to be saved, sometimes turning away is necessary. They are loved by God, and we must love them too, but we also need to be discerning and excercise caution and wisdom in our relationships with other people.  Being led astray from God will not do them or us any good.

God freed us to be His own. Therefore, it is important we don't become enslaved by others.