I’ve been thinking lately about how much I like to help people. I guess it’s just a part of my personality, but I really do love to serve others. I like to think of it as a gift from God, actually. Jesus calls us all to be servants, so if I didn’t like serving, I’d probably be quite miserable. I got to thinking, though: what is the difference between being a servant and being a people-pleaser? They’re very similar, and many times look exactly the same on the outside. They both excel at doing things for others, and both are usually very happy to help.
The difference is in the heart of a person. What motivates them? A people-pleaser loves to be respected and loved by others. A servant loves to respect and love others. A people-pleaser works to fill a void in his heart, but a true servant works because that void has already been filled. A people-pleaser serves out of insecurity, but a true servant is secure in the love of God. A people-pleaser stores up pride in his heart, but a true servant is humble. Even though they may look similar on the outside, their hearts are completely opposite.
My challenge is this: check your motives. Why do you do what you do? Is it to gain respect from others, to look good? Or is it because you are good, and you serve others because you love them? I’ve struggled with this myself, and I can tell you with confidence that being a true servant is much more fulfilling in the long run. If you find that your heart is not in the right place, pray to God, and He will be faithful to change it in His grace.
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”–Romans 6:18
“Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”–Colossians 3:22-24