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    by Rebecca Livermore

People Pleasers
Date Posted: June 6, 2007

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 (Galatians 1:10 NKJV).

I'll admit it; I'm a people pleaser. I often seek affirmation. I want to know that people are happy with the work I do. I want to know that I'm valued and appreciated. Is that wrong? Is it wrong for me to want my boss to pat me on the back and say, "Good job!"?

To find the answer to this question, I decided to look at the meaning of the Greek word, aresko, which is translated in the above Scripture as "please." Aresko means to strive to please, to accommodate one's self to the opinions, desires, and interests of others.

On one hand, it is good and necessary for us to do a good job for those God has placed in authority over us and those He has called us to serve. We should seek to diligently meet the needs of our families, be good employees, and serve faithfully and conscientiously in our churches. But we should strive to accommodate ourselves to the opinions, desires, and interests of God, not man. Our goal should be the glory and pleasure of God, rather than the praise and approval of man.

This verse goes as far as to say that if we please man, it indicates that we are not a bondservant of Christ. A bondservant is a voluntary slave. It is someone who puts themselves under the control of another, not out of fear or duress, but out of choice. The voluntary nature of being a bondservant indicates that we have a choice about who we are going to be a servant to, and who we are going to strive to please.

What choice will you make today?

Father, we pray that you will help us to focus on pleasing you rather than man. Help us to fully understand that our value isn't determined by what man thinks of us. Enable us to do everything for Your glory and honor. We pray that you will make us aware of the times when our focus is on man rather than You. In those times, redirect our hearts and our focus. We thank You, Father, that You are not an unreasonable taskmaster, but rather are a God Who delights in Your children as they strive to please and honor You.

Thought: Spend some time either in prayer or writing in your journal evaluating your relationships with others in light of the truth found in Galatians 1:10. Is your life characterized by striving to please and accommodate people? If so, ask God to help you to change your focus from pleasing man to pleasing God. The good news is, when we strive to please God, we often live in such a way that the people we come in contact with will be blessed as well!

© 2007 by Rebecca Livermore

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Biography Information:
Rebecca Livermore is a speaker and freelance writer from Denver, Colorado. Her passion is helping people grow spiritually. To learn more about her ministry, and to read her articles on spiritual disciplines, visit http://www.rebeccalivermore.com.
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