People-pleasers are those who will follow the herd, even if it means denying truth and righteousness. This thing called peer-pressure can be a debilitating form of idolatry. However, those whose first allegiance is to Jesus Christ can be part of the herd without being controlled by it.
God wants me to follow Him and love people. By knowing I am a child of God and loved with an everlasting love, I need not allow the fear of rejection govern my life. The love of God makes the difference between being a people-pleaser, or being able to stand for spiritual truth even if others are upset by my stand. Sticking by biblical convictions is also about abiding in Christ . . .
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:15–18)
This was an identifying characteristic of the early Christian church. When the disciples were arrested for sharing the Gospel, they began doing it again as soon as they were out of jail. The Captain of the temple and the chief priests ordered them to silence saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:28–29)
God repeatedly warns His people to fear Him, not other people. He says that, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25) Part of His reasoning for this is that the opinions of people come and go, but our relationship with Him is forever.
Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my righteousness will be forever, and my salvation to all generations. (Isaiah 51:7–8)
My mother once said something about the opinion of people that comes to mind whenever I’m pressured by my peers or anyone else. She was visiting friends and asked if she wanted an egg with her breakfast. She replied, “I don’t know. Are they ‘in’ this year?”
Public opinion comes and goes, but the truth of God is always ‘in’ and is my safeguard against the fear of man. Because of His love for me, I don’t need to be a people-pleaser and can instead be determined to please God.