The Truth About People-Pleasers



"Slaves, obey your human masters in everything. Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people,  knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:22-24


I have to admit, I am a recovering pleaser. I have been a people-pleaser to the point I have worked myself into a codependent frenzy, allowing my thoughts, emotions, and feelings to be solely determined on if someone else is happy. As an employee, my entire day can be determined by one small criticism or praise. As a friend, as a parent, and as a church member, each and every person’s impression of me can matter to the point to where my day can go from one extreme to the other just by a simple word.

In reading this passage the other day, the Lord revealed to me something obvious. The Lord impressed on me one of those humbling moments I needed to be reminded of, and even though in theory, I know it. When you are working to please people, you aren’t working to please God. When you work to please God, your motivations are what determines everything else. When you work to please God, it’s okay to say no every once in a while. When you work to please God, He is glorified during those moments when we may have to stand in the truth when everyone else is trying to just make peace with the world.

When we do things from the heart, when we are for the Lord, we can do the most difficult tasks and work for the most difficult people with joy. We can take criticism in stride, knowing if our motivations are correct, we are working to please our Savior. Our rewards here are temporal, yet the Lord’s are eternal. Work to please God, and remember Paul’s words in verse 24: you serve the Lord Jesus Christ.


Father, thank You that I have daily opportunity to work for You. I thank You that my failures don’t deter Your love for me. Help me to remember to strive to please You in even the smallest of tasks. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Your Turn

Are you a people-pleaser? How does this passage change the way you look at work, school, and relationships in general?


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Chelsi Woods is the coffee-loving Content Manager for Whole Magazine and a writer for the Reformed Outlook. She is a Jesus-loving, tattooed soccer mom to a beautiful, blue-eyed 12-year-old girl and “Choo-Choo” to a 9-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece. Her hobbies include communicating in gifs, playing guitar, and bad dad jokes. Chelsi’s passionate pursuit is to teach women solid, Biblical truths focused on spiritual growth, loving God with our minds, all while glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.