Friday, June 5, 2015

The Root of People Pleasing

"I'm a people pleaser." You hear it a lot. Maybe you even say it. Many of us are always trying to please everyone - and frankly we're exhausted. It's a struggle we think is rooted in "niceness", so it
can't be that bad, right? It's almost as if it is a sin we think is okay because it makes people happy. God wants us to make people happy, right?

But what if we're wrong?

What if our desire to please everyone is rooted in pride and has nothing to do with being nice?

What if we are trying to please everyone because we have a deep desire to be well-liked? 

What if it has nothing to do with the other person being happy, but it's all about ME being liked? 

That is what I began to see the other day as I drove down the road, listening to Greg Laurie preach. He mentioned that Satan's fall came because he desired to be worshipped, instead of worshipping God. I felt a nudge in my Spirit. Wanting to be "well-liked" isn't a too far off cousin from wanting to be "worshipped". It struck fear in my heart.  I began to see my true motive. It wasn't pretty.

Lately I have been feeling God trying to pry my white-knuckled fingers off my people pleasing issues. I guess I always thought it was because I really liked people, so I want them to be happy. But I'm beginning to see it in a whole new light. It is rooted in my desire to be liked.

I'm entering a new chapter in my life as my husband and I are purchasing a fitness center in Travelers Rest called HUB Fitness.  I know we will not please everyone in this process and that scares me so much. As long as I try to please everyone, though, guess where my focus will be? Not on my vision. Not on my purpose. Not on God's best...but on their idea of what is best.  Have you ever noticed how everyone's idea of what is best is always conflicting with other people's ideas? This can lead to considerable frustration if I don't trust God to help me through it and change my heart!

Perhaps that is why Paul adamantly proclaimed in Galatians 1:10, "Obviously, I'm not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ's servant."

Thank you, Father, for your conviction and for revealing my heart in this. Give me strength to be okay with people not agreeing, people not liking me, and please give me wisdom to stand for what you want me to do - no matter what anyone else may think.


Donna Hullett said...

Leslie you are one awesome lady.

Leslie Nease said...

Donna, are you testing my people pleasing? haha :) Just kidding! Thank you sweet lady.

Rick Barry said...

Thanks for your transparency, Leslie. I've meditated on this topic lately, since it's tied to so many issues of our day.

Often the things that please the society around us are at odds with the things that please God. Being accepted and pleasing in the eyes of the world practically requires denouncing some of God's standards. (You experienced a bit of this in China.) Yet, the biblical position is the one taken by the apostles: Acts 5:29 "Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men."

Blessings to you. Thanks for sharing worthwhile thoughts.

Leslie Nease said...

So true, Rick! Thanks so much for sharing your insight!

Bonnie O'Shields said...

I felt God's nudging to find your blog this morning and now I know why!! This is ME!!! As a Pastor's wife -- I am so trapped in the "people pleasing" business. God has begun my new journey with Him. Thank you for such a wonderful post. Please know how God is using it!!! Praise and glory to Him!!!

I am also planning on calling you at the HUB -- I need a good place to workout this summer. Let me know the hours you are there.

Leslie Nease said...

Bonnie, that's so sweet how God led you here! I hope it is encouraging to know you are not alone. :) Would love to see you at HUB Fitness! Our website is I begin to work there full time next week! If you go to our website, you can also print out a free week pass so you can try us out. Hope to see you soon!

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