We love it when people praise us and show that they believe in us. It is a good thing when we get a compliment from our boss or a friend encourages us. It is good, but it can become addictive and harmful.
We can not become so dependent on pleasing people that we start getting our sense of worth and value from them and from how they treat us. All of a sudden we are relying on them to keep us feeling good and to validate us, so we try to please them. That becomes a driving force in our life. When we think our value comes from what others think about us it becomes very burdensome. That’s not where your value comes from, by the way. It comes from God.
You might say, “If I don’t try to please others, they might leave. They might not be my friend. They might not value me.” Well then, let them go.* Your value and calling are not tied to people who devalue you. When we start valuing what people think more than what God thinks it starts getting dangerous. It can happen.
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in Him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
— 1 John 12:42–43
The truth is that people will not always make you feel special. God will. If you have crossed the line of faith, asking God to forgive you of your sins and accepting Jesus as your savior, you are a child of the King. There is eternal value in that. And when we do that we receive a calling and purpose for our lives and His spirit to empower us to do those good things. And, here is the interesting part about this topic: One of those callings is indeed to love and serve others. Not because others demand it or because we want to please them and earn “extra credit and praise from people.” We do it because the love of our savior compels us to. We do it to bring honor and glory to him. Now, even when we serve in Christ’s name, not all will respond positively. That’s okay. Our validation does not come from others’ responses to us. It comes from our calling as a man or woman of God.
Now we have switched from people pleasing to pleasing God, and that is good.
* Additional resources: Nothing Just Happens by T.D. Jakes – https://youtu.be/lVG_6o0VRb8?t=1380