Quotes about Man-Pleasing


God was so precious to my soul that the world with all its enjoyments appeared vile. I had no more value for the favor of men than for pebbles.


You can end up in grave sin by thinking it is very important to be nice to people.  How easy it is to practice a gutless compassion that never wants to offend anyone, that equates niceness with love and thereby ignores God’s law and essentially despises His holiness.  We do not necessarily seek God’s honor when we spare human feelings.


Too much desire to please men mightily prejudgeth the pleasing of God.


Justification by faith is an answer to the greatest personal question ever asked by a human soul: “How shall I be right with God? How do I stand in God’s sight? With what favor does he look upon me?” There are those, I admit, who never raise that question. There are those who are concerned with the question of their standing before men but never with the question of their standing before God. There are those who are interested in what “people say” but not in the question of what God says. Such men, however, are not those who move the world. They are apt to go with the current. They are apt to do as others do. They are not the heroes who change the destinies of the race. The beginning of true nobility comes when a man ceases to be interested in the judgment of men and becomes interested in the judgment of God.


1. Human approval is divided. Some like you, others dislike you. A split vote. Who can you believe?

2. Human approval is shallow. None of them know your deepest heart. What if they did?

3. Human approval is distorted. Your friends overlook many failings. Your enemies can’t see anything right with you. How do you sort it all out?

4. Human approval is unsatisfying. The need of your heart for belovedness goes far beyond anything another sinner can say or do.


Approval junkies live as hostages to other people’s opinions and judgments regarding their thoughts, motives, feelings, or behaviors. Approval seekers look good; they have to… But people-pleasing isn’t godly, nor is it healthy. Appeasers usually end up feeling used, unappreciated, and driven to become all things to all people in order to maintain their image and receive continued approval. They appear giving but in fact they are enslaved to their insatiable need to be admired (Nancy Groom).


What happens when you are obsessed with getting people to like you? You become flirtatious or artificial, a coward or a deceiver, a chameleon or a recluse.


Judge it to be a small matter what men think or say of you, and care only for their treatment of your Lord. If you are naturally sensitive do not indulge the weakness, nor allow others to play upon it.


It is a remarkable fact that all the heresies which have arisen in the Christian Church have had a decided tendency to dishonor God and to flatter man.


People-pleasers can mistake “niceness” for love.  When they do, they will be prone to being manipulated by others, and burn-out is sure to follow.  People-pleasers can also mistake “yes” for love.


What is the result of…people-idolatry? As in all idolatry, the idol we choose to worship soon owns us. The object we fear overcomes us. Although insignificant in itself, the idol becomes huge and rules us. It tells us how to think, what to feel, and how to act. It tells us what to wear, it tells us to laugh at the dirty joke, and it tells us to be frightened to death that we might have to get up in front of a group and say something. The whole strategy backfires. We never expect that using people to meet our desires leaves us enslaved to them.

Recommended Books

When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man

Edward Welch
Book cover of

Desiring God

John Piper