Would you believe even Jesus’ disciples could qualify to join? Just think of Peter standing to his feet at our meeting and saying, “Hi, I’m Peter and I’m a People Pleaser.” Then John would stand up and say, “Yes, I am too. I’m John and I’m a People Pleaser.”
Hard to believe? Well, then, you haven’t read Matthew 15.
In Matthew 15, Jesus has a discussion with the Pharisees and they are unhappy. The disciples say to Jesus, Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this [your] saying?” (vs. 12).
The disciples must have expected Jesus to exclaim, “Oh, no! Really? I didn’t expect my words would offend them. I’ll go immediately and ask their forgiveness. I’ll be more careful next time.”
That’s what I would have expected and then Jesus would have realized he needed to attend People Pleasing Anonymous also. Fortunately, Jesus will never have to attend our meeting.
Here’s Jesus’ reply to His disciples: “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (vs. 13-14 ESV).
Jesus doesn’t water-down the truth because those “in power” are upset. If He did, He would have revealed His distrust of His Father’s power to fulfill Jesus’ assignment.
Jesus hadn’t forgotten He had inspired Solomon to write in Proverbs 29:25: The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.
Jesus wasn’t even tempted to become snared by fearing His own creation. If He had, Jesus would actually be loving the Pharisees poorly by encouraging them to continue in their false beliefs and sin. He loved them well by challenging them and correcting them.
The Pharisees didn’t receive His correction, but Jesus didn’t feel responsible to force them to change. Neither was Jesus discontent as if they empowered His ministry’s success.
Let me ask you—and myself. Who do we believe:
- opens ministry doors?
- brings a promotion?
- delivers our child from drugs?
- prompts our husband/friend/boss to listen to us?
- brings healing?
Only God holds the key to everything He wants for us–not people! He only plans and intends what will bring Him the exaltation He deserves. We can diminish people pleasing by keeping our eyes on Him. And remembering that the fear of man is a snare.
Doesn’t it feel great to know we’ll never have to form People Pleasing Anonymous? Let’s just please Jesus. Let’s meet to do that! Oh wait a minute. There’s already a group like that: the church!!!!!
(This is adapted from Pure-Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory)