ON FIRE 27 / People Pleaser or God Pleaser?


Acts 4: 13-22

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. ‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.’

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’

After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.


The religious leader are left scratching their heads because they don’t know what to do with these guys.  The man who was paralysed is now healed and is right in front of them breakdancing.  So all they can do is threaten them and order Peter and John to stop preaching about Jesus or else.

Peter says to them: "I hear what you’re saying, but if we are left with a choice of obeying you lot or obeying God – God’s going to win every time."

Why?  Because bold, on fire Christians want to please God above all else.

There is nothing that will stifle passion and fire in your life than being obsessed with what other people think about you and trying to make everyone like you.

If your main goal in life is to have everyone like you – 1. You will fail, cause that’s not going to happen; and 2. You will live a safe, boring, passive life where you’re always looking over your shoulder to see what people think about what you’re doing.

People pleasing and approval addiction drains the life out of us.  It makes us blend in, water down, stay average, play it safe.

People pleasers avoid conflict at all cost. 

People pleasers are self-conscious and get nervous round people that they might say or do the wrong thing.

People pleasers make decisions based on what everyone else thinks.

People pleasers greatest fear is offending anyone or having anyone think badly about them.

It will be impossible for you to live boldly for Jesus if you are consumed with the opinions and approval of others.

I love what Paul said in Gal 1:10:

“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.”

If I were trying to please other people I would not be a servant of Christ.

When we live to please Jesus above everyone else, sometimes others will like your decisions and sometimes they won’t- but that won’t matter as long as you know you are pleasing Jesus.

And there’s something incredibly attractive about people who follow their convictions and live with passion, no matter what other people think of them.

The world desperately needs to see bold, passionate Christians who don't care about being like everyone else or being liked by everyone else, who stand out from the crowd, who go against the flow – Christians like that make a difference everywhere they go.  They shine, and people notice and wonder what it is about them that makes them so bold and fearless.