God has a wonderful plan for each of our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). And when we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior, we put ourselves in a position to walk out our God-given destiny.
Sadly, many believers in Christ aren’t living out their destiny because of fear. The fear of man is a common problem that causes us to worry about things like, “What will they think of me? What are they going to say about me? What will happen if I don’t do what they want? What if they don’t like me?!”
Everyone struggles with insecurity and the fear of rejection to some degree. There’s nothing wrong with wanting people to like you, but when you’re so focused on being a people pleaser that those fears control your choices, then you’re being controlled by the fear of man.
The Solution Is Simple
There is only one remedy I know of to avoid being a people pleaser and that is learning to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in all we do. That is one of the most exciting things about being a Christian.
As believers, the Holy Spirit lives inside us. He desires to lead us in everything we do, from how we handle our finances, to the type of job we have, to the house we live in, to what we do or don’t do for others.
He does not want to just be involved with the spiritual side of our lives; He wants to be involved with the natural, or practical, side of our lives too.
I love what Romans 7:6 says: But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
Paul is saying that when we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we experience newness of life—peace, joy and contentment—that cannot be experienced when we live under the “shoulds,” the “oughts,” the obligations and the expectations of being a people pleaser.
Check Your Motives
Motives are the “why” behind what we’re doing (or not doing). Are we being motivated by fear, personal gain or a sense of obligation? Is our desire to be in control, accepted or seen?
These are all the wrong reasons for doing something. Our motive for doing anything should always be because God has prompted us and we want to please Him.
Following the leading of the Holy Spirit means we are motivated by the fruit of the Holy Spirit, such as love, kindness and goodness. And we know we’re being led by the Holy Spirit when we have peace about what we’re doing.
Remember, whatever you and I do, if we do it as if we’re doing it for the Lord, then we’ll have peace and contentment. Whether it’s helping a family member, working in the nursery at church, washing the dishes, driving to work, cutting the grass, or going to the grocery store, do it to for the Lord.
In other words, do all things with the motive of pleasing God. The result will be a new measure of joy and enthusiasm in your life—even in the everyday, ordinary things.