People Pleasing Is Idolatry

“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.”

Galatians 1:10 (NLT)

In life, you have to please only one person: your Creator. You only have to please the Lord, the one who made you and has a purpose for your life.

That simplifies life enormously!

Jesus said, “I don’t try to please myself, but I try to please the One who sent me” (John 5:30 NCV). He’s saying, in effect, “I’m living for an audience of one.”

Did you know that people pleasing is a form of idolatry? The first commandment in the Ten Commandments says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 NIV).

Anything you put before God becomes a god. So a boat could be a god. A career could be a god. A girlfriend could be a god. Golf could be a god. Anything that becomes number one in your life that isn’t God becomes your god.

The second commandment is, “You must not make for yourself an idol” (Exodus 20:4 NLT). Anything that replaces God in your life is an idol. Success can be an idol. Money can be an idol. Sex can be an idol. A relationship can become an idol. If that relationship to your spouse, boss, or friend is more important than God, it’s an idol.

People pleasers allow other people’s opinions to take first place in their lives. Those opinions become a god because they matter more than God’s opinion. You don’t want to tell people you’re a Christian because they might think less of you. You don’t want them to know you go to church because they may not like you. At that point, you have another god in your life. You have made an idol of people pleasing.

Paul says in Galatians 1:10, “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” (NLT).

Almost everyone wants to be liked. It’s tempting to want to please other people. But don’t do it at the expense of pleasing God. As a servant of Christ, you have an audience of one. You need to only please God.

Talk It Over

  • When have you made people pleasing an idol in your life? What have the results been?
  • When have you lived just to please God? What have been the practical results in your life?
  • In what ways are you living to please people right now? How are you living to please God? What adjustments do you need to make to live only for an audience of one?

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.