I think I would describe myself as a people pleaser. I always want people to like me and I hate confrontation. As I have matured in my faith, I have realized this about myself and how damaging it can be to me and others.....I'll get back to this point.....
I recently joined my first book club! The book club is made up of a few friends that I used to be in a bible study with. We wanted to have a way to still get together once a month and thought that a book club was a great idea. We have chosen a variety of books including Christian fiction, Christian non-fiction, as well as some "secular" books that would provoke good conversation and challenge us in our Christian walk. Last night we had our first official meeting and the discussion was about The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Andy Andrews is an inspirational speaker and has spoken at the White House, for professional athletic teams, etc. It was an interesting book and we had great conversation. One theme in the book was basically that in order to be successful in life the most important thing you can do is be a person that others like to be around. The author even went so far to say that we should daily ask ourselves, "What would people change about me?" This really bugged me for two reasons. 1)I think that this encourages a very worldly view of what success is (i.e. make lots of money, have a big house, etc). 2) I think that it is imperative that we live to please the Lord rather than living to please ourselves or other people. I am not saying that it is a negative thing for people to like you and hopefully if you are living to please the Lord you will exhibit some characterstics that others DO love to be around; however, I think it is obvious that sometimes people don't like believers and at times it is impossible to please others as a Christian in certain circumstances.
Here are a couple of verses that have encouraged me in my attempt to not be a people pleaser but rather live to please the Lord:
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galations 1:10
"On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts." 1 Thessalonians 2:4
I guess that the book was an interesting and quick read and, again, it definitely sparked great conversation and discussion. I just find it dangerous when books seem to give off the impression that they have all the answers to life when they have no scripture to back it up. I think that people are searching for answers and can cling to books like this and still find false hope. The only hope that is certain can be found in the Word of God!