Monday, June 7, 2021
It’s very hard not to be a people-pleaser. From early childhood we learn to do and say the things that make other people happy. We freely move between opposing viewpoints to avoid conflict and gain acceptance. We keep the peace by hiding what we really think and agreeing with the consensus around us. It is destructive behavior that produces serious consequences, including self-doubt, spiritual doubt, and distrust.
The Apostle Paul addresses this issue in Galatians 1:10. He is about to confront a serious problem in the church of Jesus Christ, which will then expose certain people-pleasing leaders as false teachers. Paul knows the potential for people to be hurt and for people to reject him. He could ignore the issue and gain their approval, but that would mean being unfaithful to Christ. He verbalizes his inner debate in Galatians 1:10.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
One of the freedoms we receive as servants of Jesus Christ is the approval of God. His eternal commendation is of far greater value than any self-earned approval of people. As servants of Jesus we are free from the need to get other people to like us. We are free from earning value by gaining people’s approval. We are so confident in our spiritual identity that physical identity becomes insignificant. We are set free from constantly measuring up to other people’s standards because we are covered by the grace of God that requires no standards.
Freedom begins with the grace of God covering every flaw in us so that we never again have to cover any flaw. With our identity secure in Jesus, we are free from earning any identity from people. With our eternal value declared by Christ, we never have to earn value from any person. With God’s approval stamped on our lives in the blood of Jesus, we never again need to seek the approval of people.