Which of you has ever had the feeling of toiling constantly to please someone? Sacrificing your happiness and your time and your energy only to be rewarded by a small smile from them?
Now, sacrifice and servitude are wonderful, selfless, God-given traits that are blessings. In no way am I endorsing laziness or selfishness.
But even a good thing like a servantlike disposition can be twisted into something bad: a people pleasing attitude.
The definition of people pleasing is basing your happiness on someone else’s happiness.
Here we need to be careful. Servitude should come from a heart that wants to please God and not man. When you serve someone just to please them, then that’s called people pleasing.
And when you dedicate your life to pleasing people, you also sacrifice your happiness to their every whim and desire.
If Mom doesn’t appreciate how you made brownies for her…
If your sister hates the dress you gave her…
If your friends don’t like the drawing you gave them…
the world comes crashing down and crushes your happiness underneath it.
This is what we should avoid.
Since we are as humans, blinded to some aspects of sin, we need to ask God to discern our motives and warn us about bad motivations. There are twists and turns into sin that we might not see, that we might be blinded to, thinking we’re doing a good thing by valuing others above ourselves.
The thing about valuing others above ourselves is we need to value God above others, and out of value for God, we value others, because it’s what He wants.
So before you embark on a mission to please people, stop and think.
Are you basing your happiness on the happiness of someone else? Are you making them the center of your universe?
Because you can’t control everything. Even if you spent your whole life trying to make life perfect for someone else you can’t control everything. People will still be unhappy. And if you base your happiness on theirs, so will you.
Happiness isn’t something that comes from people’s circumstances. Happiness is something you make inside yourself.