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On People Pleasing

As our country continues to experience one crisis after another, I’ve felt increasing pressure to think, feel, and act in a certain way. No one has come up to me and said, “As a pastor, you should [fill in the blank] in light of these current controversies!” However, by skimming the news and various social media outlets, the pressure is palpable. Lots of people want me to respond in a certain way.

God has something to say about this cultural peer pressure. Specifically, God forbids us from doing anything simply to please people. Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” Let’s break this verse down.

The “fear of man” alludes to an ungodly desire for popularity. Someone who “fears man” is a “people pleaser.” People pleasers constantly give into peer pressure. God says this is harmful. Those who seek popularity at all costs will run into a “snare.” A “snare” is a trap. Traps are dangerous. To constantly seek the approval of others results in harm. It might look appealing at first, but in the end people pleasing is a trap.

Instead of “fearing man,” God instructs us to “trust” in Him. Trusting in the Lord is the opposite of people pleasing. Those who trust in the Lord believe that His opinion matters most. Those who trust the Lord are “safe.” They are not “tossed to and fro” by the ever-changing trends of society (Eph 4:14). Instead, they are fortified in their convictions. The Lord provides this stability.

How does this passage apply to your life? Don’t do anything simply because that’s what’s “cool” and/or “acceptable.” Don’t give into ungodly peer pressure. The pursuit of popularity will end badly. If you’re going to believe in something, believe it because that’s what God wants you to believe. His opinion matters. He remains forever. He will keep you safe.

Chance Sumner

Senior Pastor

Community Bible Church

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