Do you strive to please others? Are you aware of what a wreck this makes of your life? If you want to know more about Jesus, you will be encouraged to know that your problem can actually become a blessing for you.
Your problem has not been that you’ve been trying to please people. Rather, it’s been that you’ve been trying to please people. That is, the effort to please is not wrong at all. In fact, it’s commendable, and even necessary. You’ve just directed that pleasing effort toward other people instead of toward God. God wants us to love people. Sometimes that means pleasing them, but sometimes it doesn’t.
Jesus loved people. All people. He gave His life for all people. In doing so, however, He did not always please them. In fact, He said things that made some people very upset. He did not back off or apologize in such cases. He maintained His position. He could do this because He always thought before He spoke and therefore never said anything that He regretted. Even when people became displeased enough with Jesus to demand His crucifixion, He would not yield to their desires – because He loved them too much!
Jesus famously said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you.” He knew that such universal human praise was only possible for people who sacrificed their character and conscience before God. If your goal is to please everyone, you will destroy yourself. By His words and His life, Jesus seeks to protect us from that.
If you will devote the same effort to pleasing Jesus that you have devoted to pleasing others, you will come to be much more intimate with Him. Your relationship with Him will deepen and strengthen. Don’t ever lose that energy to please – just re-direct it to Him. You can be inwardly happy and peaceful without the praise of people. You cannot be inwardly happy and peaceful without the praise of God.