Our reason or motive for doing the things we do is very important. God wants us to have pure hearts. He wants us to do what we do because we believe He is leading us to do it or because it is the right thing to do. God wants us to be motivated by love. We should do what we do for the love of God and man. If we are motivated by fear, it does not please God.
We should regularly take some time and ask ourselves why we are doing the things we do. It is not what we do that impresses God; it is the “why” behind what we do that he is concerned with. God instructs us in His Word not to do good deeds to be seen of men. We are not to do it to be seen of men or to try and impress God by heaping up phrases and repeating them over and over. God is not impressed with the length and eloquence of our prayers. He is searching for sincerity and fervency. Any work of ours that is impure will be burned up on Judgment Day. We lose our reward for any work that is done with impure motives (See Matthew 6:1-7 and I Corinthians 3:13-15).
If we do things for people, and our motives are impure, we are out of God’s will. Not every work that appears to be good is good. A work is good only if it is done in the will of God. Two people can do the same “good deed,” and yet God may not consider it good for both of them. One of the two may be in the will of God, and the other may be out of the will of God, depending on their motives for their actions.
I strive to do what I do with right motives. If I am asked to attend a function and I really don’t feel led by God to go, or if I know my schedule cannot accommodate it without becoming stressful. I don’t go! Or if God is leading me in a different direction than others want me to go, I follow God because he leads and Satan controls. The Bible tells us that the well needeth not a physician but the sick. Jesus is our example and He left the 99 to go after that one lost sheep. When people are wanting to hear yes, and you tell them no, they never like it. But those who are truly your friends will give you the freedom to make your own decisions. They will respect the decisions you make. They will encourage you and support you. They will not pressure you or try to make you feel guilty for not pleasing them. Your true friends are not those who are merely using you for their own benefit or those who always become angry when you don’t do what they want you to do.
It is our responsibility to stand up to people who try to control us. If we don’t, we are just as guilty as they are. If people try to control us, they are acting against God’s will.
We must not blame others if we are fearful and timid. It is offensive to God when we fear people more than we fear Him. We should not fear God in a wrong way, but we should have a respectful fear of Him, knowing that He means what He says. Since God has told us in His Word that we are not to be people-pleasers, we should take that commandment seriously and not allow an out of balance people-pleasing attitude in our lives.
Live to please God and you will never be an approval addict. What you think of yourself is more important than what others think of you. You cannot feel good about yourself if you know what you are doing does not have God’s approval on it. Acts 5:29; “We must obey God rather than man.” God is a jealous God. It is not good if you say yes and yet disrespect yourself because you cannot say no.
Pleasing people is good in a sense, but it is not good to become a people-pleaser. Scripture instructs us to be led by the Holy Spirit. According to Romans 8:14, all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. Mature Christians are led by God’s Spirit, not by other people. The have learned to trust their own heart. They follow peace, not people (See Hebrews 12:14 KJV).
By faith I keep pressing on!