The Club That No One Really Wants To Be In

People pleasers unite!

We’re a club that none of us really want to be in but, oops, here we are because we feel too bad to tell the others that we want out.

…we don’t want to hurt their feelings!

…we don’t want to seem “difficult.”

…we want to make sure they know we love and value them.

The excuses go on and on and on.  

When you make a decision to follow Jesus, the line between being a “good human” and being a people pleaser becomes a little harder to differentiate. At least it did for me.

You want to be a good example of Jesus’ love so you bend over backwards for people and promise that if they come over to “our side” we will give them COOKIES. And not oatmeal raisin – CHOCOLATE CHIP.

Years ago, I had a pastor ask me how much it mattered what people thought of me on a scale from 1-10… I answered 200 AND I WAS NOT EXAGGERATING.  That really opened my eyes to this issue. 

Can I be a little harsh? People pleasing seems like a really sweet and selfless problem to have but in reality, I think it comes down to a desire to control.

Oof!! Not really a people pleasing message huh?

I am a recovering control addict so when I see areas in my life that scream CONTROL FREAK, I have to call them out. And when I really examine my people pleasing tendencies…it’s all rooted in that desire to control.

Serving people is part of being a follower of Christ. It’s a good thing. But when we serve in order to please people rather than God, it can leave us feeling empty. We might even feel a little mad or taken advantage of in our service.

Sometimes, it becomes about me wanting to control the narrative. I want people to say, “wow look at Kristen! She’s such a servant! She’s got such a giving heart.” I want to control how people see Christians. It sounds so icky right? It’s hard to admit it, but it’s true.

But God loves a CHEERFUL giver. He wants us to serve because we love Him, not because we want to look good in front of other people.

So with God’s guidance, I got to work. I posted this scripture on my wall to read every single day: 

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10

When I start to feel the pull of a desire to please people, I have to ask myself this question: “Am I doing this for God or for me and my image?”

And if the answer isn’t God, then I need to reevaluate.

Many of us struggle with this problem, even if we don’t want to admit it.

So I’ll be the one to take the first step. I’m breaking the ice and admitting that I’m a people pleaser.

I’m praying that God opens our eyes to our motivations so that we can better serve Him and say no to the things that aren’t going to benefit our relationship with Him. 

Kristen James

Midday Show Host, STAR 99.1


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Kristen James


  1. Eugenia on September 29, 2022 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful scripture. I struggle with pleasing people. This scripture made me realize that I try to please people for their approval and it’s what is expected of me. A lot of times this empty approval is met with disappointment. After my husband’s passing, I have put myself first and my love for God. I no longer allow others to interfere with my passion, but instead, I silently have set boundaries and have become stronger in my relationship with God and how I live my life.

    • Kristen James on September 30, 2022 at 1:36 pm

      That’s amazing Eugenia!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Patty b. on September 29, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    Great Words of wisdom thank you for being honest

    • Kristen James on September 30, 2022 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you Patty!

  3. Diane on September 30, 2022 at 9:00 am

    Thank you for this. I always enjoy reading your encouraging words.

    • Kristen James on September 30, 2022 at 1:36 pm

      Thank YOU Diane!

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