• Gail Armatys


Are you going along to get along? In other words, are you a people pleaser?

I’ve been accused of being a people pleaser before and sadly, I confess, it’s been true. As we look at the motivations for our responses to another's requests and preferences, it is often a challenge to discern between a people pleasing response and the desire to be a servant of Christ.

Agreeing to stay in and cook when you’d rather order from a restaurant likely falls into either category. The final decision isn’t earth-shattering but it might be a tell tale sign of which way you lean—or maybe flat out fall. People pleaser or servant?

Find the answer as you consider the motivations for each outlined below.

People Pleasers

People pleasers are motivated by the desire for approval, proof of worthiness. As people pleasers, we hide who we really are and what we stand for because we ourselves often don’t know and are not confident in the truth of our worth. This sense of unworthiness creates a desperate void that we rely on others to fill. As we go along to get along, we seek confirmation of our value in words of approval, acceptance, and appreciation.

Everything runs smoothly and everyone is at peace when this happens. If we don’t receive affirmations in return for our acquiescence, we’re left with an even greater self-focus and vacancy in the worth department. When we're met with disagreement or ridicule for our differing response we feel rejected and again, unworthy.

People pleasing is more about hiding rather than shining, and God calls us to shine in our uniqueness and worthiness in Christ so we can, with him, fulfill our purpose.

People pleasing is about filling self. And if we're filling ourselves with more self we aren't dying to self, that's for sure.

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

John 3:30

People pleasing looks a lot like service, but its fundamental and greatest desire is to receive validation from those around us rather than from our heavenly Father.

If you’re a lean-into-people-pleasing kind of gal and believe the lie that your worth comes from others please hear this: Jesus proved your value on the cross. He is likely the only one who has died for you. What more could a person do to validate your worth? What more could God have given to prove you, yes you, are loved?

Servants of Christ

As servants of Christ we are motivated by love. We know and believe in our inner most being who we are in Christ. Service is carried out in the absence of pride and self-focus and begins in the position of humility.

Rather than pleasing ourselves or even others, we servants are most interested in bringing a smile and glory to God because we love him ... because he first loved us.

This loving service is service that bears fruit. Service motivated by Christ's love for God's glory.

Is our response as people pleasers or servants of Christ mutually exclusive? Yes. We either act out of our flesh our by the Holy Spirit. But here's the hope. The more we know and love the Lord, the more we desire to be in tune with and please his Spirit throughout our days.

In truth, the accolades and approval we seek by pleasing others to keep the peace, to fill us up, or to hide from rejection can only really be satisfied by our relationship with the Lord. When we learn God more, we see more of how he sees us. We begin to understand who we are and understand our worth is based on his deep, great, and unending love for us. Never on what others say or believe about us.

If we are to be whole-hearted, sold out servants of Christ, not people pleasers, our motive must be the same. We must be motivated by love.

What is your initial response to the question, "Are you a people pleaser or a servant of Christ?" What thoughts and emotions are stirred in you when you consider the question? What might God be teaching you right now as you consider your answers?

To receive more transforming tips and inspiration in your mailbox each month, fill out the form below!