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Freedom from Insecurity and People-Pleasing

by stephanie reck  
8/19/2013 / Relationships

Be a God pleaser, not a man pleaser. Are you more concerned with pleasing man than God? Do you seek the approval of others? At the core of people pleasing is insecurity. We can be insecure for a number of reasons. Insecurity can have roots stemming back from our childhood.

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise from men more than praise from God.
John, 12: 42-43, NIV

How do you know you are dealing with insecurity?

Here are some key signs insecurity may be a part of your life:

1. You question everything you do. You are uncomfortable with decisions you make.
You look to others to decide what's best for you.
2. You lack confidence in speaking and having conversations with others, and social settings make you feel uneasy.
3. You look to others to approve you and to validate you.
4. You always believe you're at fault and take the blame when things go wrong.
5. You don't know who you are in Christ. Your identity is based not on what God says about you, but on what others say about you.
6. You believe what others say about you, whether good or bad.
7. You are overly sensitive to needing others to approve of you and sensitive to criticism, even constructive criticism.
8. You live in constant fear and you lack trust for others and even God.

All these insecurities can lead to people pleasing and eventually lead to approval addiction. It is important that you know who you are in Christ, and that you allow the Holy Spirit to uncover your roots of insecurity so that you can be healed and function the way God intended. If you do not believe what God says about you, you will believe what others say about you. This is especially true of people that have been verbally/emotionally abused and verbally bullied by peers. Young people today are being "cyber bullied" and many young people succumb to these taunts and torments. These bullies are acting as agents and mouthpieces of the kingdom of darkness. God would never ridicule, torment or verbally abuse us.

People approval will lead you to do things that are not led by the Holy Spirit. So many people succumb to peer pressure, and not just young people. I have seen grown people succumb to the pressure of people in the church. If you are not lead by the Holy Spirit you will end up exhausted, frustrated, stressed and burnt-out. People will always want you to fulfill their agenda, but what is most important is what does God want you to do. You may have to say "No" to people and set boundaries. It is okay to say "No." You have choices and you don't have to lead by the feelings and desires of man, but instead God gives us wisdom and discernment to know what we should be involved in. You are not called to be everywhere, do everything, and fulfill the wants of others. Ask yourself if you have peace. If peace is not involved, chances are God is not a part of it.

It is hard not to desire to be liked and approved of others, especially the ones we love and are closet to. We don't want them to think bad of us or be angry at us. It does not matter what others say or think of you. Others are going to have their opinion about you, and a lot of times there is not a whole lot you can do about it, but you can pray that God softens their hearts towards you. If you continue to be judged, misunderstood, or just treated unfair because you're setting boundaries and learning to say "No", than it is a matter between them and God.

Key Characteristics of a People-Pleaser:

1. More concerned about pleasing others than God or yourself.
2. Not lead by peace but by emotions/feelings.
3. Let others control and manipulate you.
4. Easily influenced by what others want.
5. Can't say "No" to others demands or desires.
6. Lack boundaries with others. Hard time separating self from others.
7. Feel guilty if you ever do say "No."
8. Have issues with rejection, insecurity and fear.
9. Don't want anyone to be mad at you or disappointed in you, and you will go to great lengths to insure others are pleased with you.
10. You are not free, and you are bound by others expectations of you.
11. You are devastated if someone disapproves of something you have done or not done.
12. The needs and well-being of others takes precedence over your needs and well-being.

Freedom from insecurity and people-pleasing comes from knowing and believing what Christ says about you, and allowing God to heal the roots of your insecurity. People do what they do for a reason. It is not enough to have head knowledge about what Christ says about you. You must believe what Christ says about you.

There is a great resource from Joyce Meyer's ministry on knowing who you are in Christ @

Print out the downloadable sheet on knowing who you are in Christ and say out loud every day until you believe who you are in Christ. It will take some time to start believing what Christ says about you, but continue until you are completely free from this bondage.

Additional resources from author:

Wilderness Mentality, Stop Your Stinkin' Thinkin @

Online Christian Counseling @

You Tube URL @

Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC
Founder of Hope Ministry
[email protected]
Hope Ministry, @2020
Author of, "Disciplining Your Mind 30 Days to a Better You!"

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