Continued from here.
God does not call us to pander to people to try to get them to like and accept us. Instead, He calls us lead others to God and be examples of godly living. Jesus’ life was an example of how we should live, and he never pandered to anyone. Instead, he lived a life that glorified God. Paul said,
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” ~ 1 Cor. 11:1
This should be our goal as well. We should do as Jesus did in seeking God’s approval rather than people’s. As we do this, we become an example to others. As they follow our example, they transform into Christ’s image, leading more godly lives and bringing more glory to God.
You cannot lead and follow people at the same time. If you follow God, you will lead other people to follow God as well. If you follow the World through people pleasing, you will lead people away from God because you cannot glorify God when your priority is pleasing people.
Only God sees people clearly. When we treat others as God tells us to treat them, He is invited to move in their lives. However, when we shift our focus to people pleasing, we live our lives through distorted lenses. People seeking anything other than God are focused on the cravings of their sinful nature. They want others to do things that make them feel comfortable – their priorities are focused on themselves, not on God. That’s why people pleasing does not work: As the sinful nature shifts what it wants in the moment, the actions that the person defines as “acceptable” also shift. Only God can meet someone’s needs, and what satisfies is quite different than what our sinful nature craves.
If you really want to please people in a positive way, lead them to Christ! He is the only one with the power to satisfy their needs, and he does it in a very different way than they expect. As you find fulfillment and acceptance in your relationship with God, you become a model of what truly satisfies. You can then lead others to the source of true satisfaction.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace dressed in fatigues, standing in a tank, and saluting to the words, “Yes, Ma’am.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]