The #verseoftheday is Proverbs 29:25, and it says “the fear of people becomes a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord will be set on high.”
The fear of people becomes a snare. This is the greatest trap. Long story short: I became an orphan when I was 9, and was adopted at 16. For six years I dealt with all kinds of feelings. I felt isolated. I felt alone. I felt unloved. And so I would work really hard to get acknowledgement and praise. I spent countless hours and time just trying to get adults to tell me they were proud of me, convincing friends to like me, and even though I was adopted and all that stuff there’s been this lingering “Lack” in my life since I was a child and I have no way to fix it.
I know that the Lord is healing me. But one of the symptoms of that lack that I had is this “need to please people.” I want to win everybody’s approval. I want them to like me. I need affirmation.
My mom and dad have poured so much and invested so much into my life. And they’ve dealt with a lot since they adopted me as a teenager. But the wound is still deep and it’s still there. And it’s just like a soul tattoo that I can’t erase. I just haven’t been able to remove it.
But I bring that up because the Lord is saying here that the fear of people is a snare. Meaning that if you try to please everybody, and you’re always trying to win everybody’s approval. That’s a trap you can fall into because you’ll never please everybody, and you’ll never win everybody’s approval. You’ll never please everybody.
You’ll always be okay if you just focus on pleasing the Lord, but if you focus on pleasing all the other people in your life, you’ll always fail and you’ll always fall short and you’ll always see those who do not approve. And let me tell you, even as a pastor, my greatest temptation is to try to make everybody happy and I’ve learned over the last seven years or so that that’s completely impossible.
It’s impossible. And it’s not that I don’t care about how people feel. But I’ve gotten to a place where I’ve started saying, “Lord, I just need to please you and I just want to do what you want.”
Are you trying to please people, or are you trying to please the Lord?