I define myself as a people pleaser. I aim to make people happy in what I do and say. I usually hold back what I’m actually thinking, if it’s not what I think someone wants to hear. It’s more important that others are happy than that I am happy, for the most part.
I’ve lately been thinking and studying what God has to say about this in His word to us. This subject of people pleasing came up in both of the Bible studies I’m currently a part of. In one, we’re studying Colossians, and we’ve just gotten to chapter three.
Colossians 3:22 says, “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.”
I felt pretty convicted when I read this. I felt guilty for all the times I just did something without any feeling to make someone happy. I shouldn’t just be going around pleasing people regardless of what I’m thinking and feeling. This usually comes off as, and probably is, insincere. “I don’t really mean it, I just want to please you.” Well, that’s not pleasing. That means nothing. It means nothing to the person I’m trying to make happy, and it means nothing to God.
In my other Bible study, we just finished studying Romans. Chapter 15 offers some insight to people pleasing as well:
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
We should be people pleasers. We should be building people up. We should follow Christ’s example and make others happy instead of ourselves.
The two different passages may be confusing at first. I’ll admit, when I first read Romans 15, I thought it was contradicting what Colossians 3 said.
But it’s not a contradiction. These two passages build upon one another to teach us what it means to be a Christian people pleaser.
As Christians, our greatest commandment is to love one another. How do we do this? By building our neighbors up. By helping them for their good. By pleasing them above ourselves, bearing with their weaknesses. By being people pleasers.
But while we’re being people pleasers, we need to take notice of the state of our hearts. Our thoughts, words, and deeds, should be sincere. We need to be intentionally pleasing our neighbors, not just going through the motions to avoid conflict.
I’m a people pleaser. But from here on out, I’m going to do my best to be a sincere people pleaser: a Christian people pleaser.
Image taken from PicJumbo.