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 93.3


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  1. Jan Hatfield on October 3, 2022 at 7:22 am

    Wow. Im right there with you! Thanks for sharing your insight on this, it really hit the mark for me. Im constantly asking God to guide me every step of the way but when I get a little momentum then I start doing things my way (and as quickly as possible). He reminds me a lot that His timing is everything 😃. Love and blessings, Jan

    • Kristen James on October 3, 2022 at 10:15 am

      Wow! So true Jan!! Thank you for the encouragement and reminder!!

  2. Heather on October 3, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Raising my hand here too…thanks for sharing this! This is all true AND difficult to acknowledge. I need to be reminded that my ways are not His ways and that His timing is always best. I tend to think I’m a “fixer” rather than a pleaser. But it’s the same issue – the desire to control others and the circumstances I find difficult to accept or tolerate. Praying for His guidance in all things.

    • Kristen James on October 10, 2022 at 10:32 am

      Yes!! So true Heather!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Nicole Anderson on October 7, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    I have never thought of people pleasing as a desire for control, but it makes so much sense! Thank you for your insight.

    • Kristen James on October 10, 2022 at 10:33 am

      Thank you Nicole!

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