Live to Please God, Not People

“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”

– Matthew 3:17

Today, I want to share with you a final important thing you can do to make this the best year ever. We’ve talked so far about resting intentionally, ruthlessly eliminating hurry, leaving gaps in our lives, setting boundaries and here’s the last tip — live to please God and not people.

If there is anything I want you to internalize this year as you seek to live abundantly, it’s this: pleasing people leads to shame. No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to meet the demands of others. Think for a moment about the hundreds of people you know or have met in your lifetime, each with their own perspective, quirks, expectations and ideas. Now, does it seem even slightly reasonable that you would be able to twist yourself into knots to make all of them happy? Not even! Or maybe you narrow down the list of people you want to please to just the top five — even then, it’s an exercise in futility. You were not born to please people and it’s impossible for you to make everyone happy. When you read the Gospels, you realize that there isn’t one person that Jesus didn’t disappoint at least once. Sometimes His answers were not what others, even those closest to Him, wanted to hear, but it didn’t deter Him as He carried out His mission. You see, the only One He cared about pleasing was His Father, who was pleased with Him before He even started His ministry!

Friend, attempting to please people will not get you anywhere you want to go, so I encourage you, in every decision you make, to ask only what God wants from you. The rest doesn’t matter! Disappointing people is inevitable, but when you keep your eyes on Jesus, all will be well. Your Heavenly Father is delighted with you because when He looks at you, He sees His Son. You don’t have to strain and strive; you can rest and relax knowing that the work of your salvation has already been accomplished and you are God’s beloved child. He will get you to where you need to be because He is a good Father, so keep your eyes on Him and don’t look to the right or left. When your focus is singular, the harsh and critical voices of others no longer matter, and that’s liberating news!


I am so thankful, Jesus, that you have freed me from the pressure of pleasing others. I want to follow your lead and stop trying to make others happy.


Are you a people-pleaser? If so, how can Jesus change your focus this year?

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