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People Pleasing

People-pleasing elizabeth-george devotion-for-women christian-devotionalA habit is a learned behavior. When we do something once, and then again...and again...and again, it becomes routine, an ingrained part of our life. Worrying about the approval of others (people pleasing) is a bad habit that many of us have learned over a period of time. So if we can learn a bad habit, guess what? We can unlearn it and replace it with a good one.

How do you avoid the mental anguish and worry that comes with the temptation to give in to peer pressure, fear of rejection, or fear of persecution? It’s not easy, is it? We’ve all been there, and maybe we’re still there. But it doesn’t have to continue. No, there is hope and help for us.

Here are some things you can do, with God’s help to stop people pleasing.

Keep your focus on God.

No runner ever wins a race while distracted by the crowds in the stands. He keeps his eyes riveted on the track and the finish line in front of him. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

If your focus is on pleasing Christ, you will always say and do the right thing, the God-honoring thing.

See yourself as dead to self.

You are identified with Christ both in His death and in His resurrection. The apostle Paul explains: “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Romans 6:11-12). If you see yourself as dead to yourself, along with all your pride, fears, feelings of loneliness, and yearning of acceptance, you won’t be tempted to conform to the world’s standards.

In other words, there is no you. There is only Christ.

Accept your eternal citizenship.

The temptation for worldly acceptance comes when you lose sight of your identity. As a believer in Christ you are a kingdom citizen (Philippians 3:20). You are a sojourner and a pilgrim (1 Peter 2:11), merely passing through this life on your way to eternity. So don’t get too settled in a world and a life that is passing away.

This will keep you from worrying and being overly concerned about what people think of you and your Christian standards and beliefs.

God is fully able to enable you to live a victorious Christian life. And He is willing and available to do so. That’s His part. Now it’s up to you to do your part, to focus fully on Him—not others—and live for Him. 


Dear Lord, please help me crave only Your approval, and to not worry about pleasing people. I want to live for You alone. Amen. 


Breaking the Worry Habit Forever—Go beyond the simple “just pray and give your troubles to the Lord,” with this practical step-by-step advice to help you change your focus, find the positive in negative situations, develop proactive skills to head off anxiety, and more! 

Do you worry more about what people think or what pleases God?


If your focus is on pleasing Christ, you will always say and do the right thing, the God-honoring thing.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.

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