If we are being honest, we all have tried to please someone. Whether it is our spouse, someone we are dating, our boss… Personally I do not think that is a bad thing to make efforts to please those that you love. To honor them, while demonstrating you love, not just in words, but in actions and deeds. However there is a trap with living your days as a “People Pleaser”. It is not only mentally unhealthy, and self defeating, it is an impossible feat. We were not designed by God to be People Pleasers.
Remember, Christ did not please everyone, nor did He make strides to do so. He had a mission to be about His Father’s business, and create a pathway to The Father. In fact, he made a lot of people mad, especially much of the “religious” of that time. Jesus spoke truth in love, and yes with tough love at times, and it was not always pleasing.
Some professionals say that arduous efforts at pleasing others comes from a sense of lacking confidence, while others say it comes from a source of over confidence to the point of narcissism. While some professionals has labeled is as a symptom of a mental illness or past abuses.
I say, first of all, it is a human flaw, and a trap that anyone can fall into, and it can become a prison. I confess, in my much younger professional days I tried to please many from my boss to my clients, from all my family to all my friends… However, the day I realized that the most important entity in my life is God, that He loved me before I was even formed, and what He did for me because of that love, my worthless efforts of trying to please so many subsided. What I did, when I did it, and how I did it was to honor God, and demonstrate true love for others, which included loving myself. I no longer sought to please others, I sought to be an attentive student of Christ. I had nothing to prove to others, I was already approved by God. I knew & still know who I am, where I came from, what I am about, and to Whom I serve. I am whom I am because He says who I am. And guess what, this is also freedom!
It matters little what others think of me, or say about me. I do what I do, live the way I live, say what I say, because I know who I am, where I came from, what I am about, and to Whom I serve. And yes, I have, and do offend people. I am not loved, nor liked by all, and that is okay. We were not designed to be everyone’s cup of tea. As they say, haters will hate. In life you will always have the critics, especially if you are doing something right, daring, or for the Cause of Christ just as He was. Do it anyway, as we were not designed to be pleasers of people, but lovers of God.
If you are caught in the trap of always trying to please others, stop it! It is self defeating, and mentally, and physically unhealthy. Escape that prison, and enjoy the freedom of taking care of your personal mental, physical, and spiritual well being. Enjoy being you, without the trap of trying to please everyone. Be the best you, for you, and the person God is molding you into, and enjoy the freedom of it all.