Have I mentioned a time or two (or twenty) that I am a people-pleaser?  I know I’m not alone in this malady, because I’ve met a LOT of you during my lifetime! But, as I recently told a friend, people-pleasing is not just about pleasing people.  It’s about the kudos you GET from other people whom you please. Even though most of us find great joy in doing special things for and serving others, there is the underlying hope that those people will think we’re sweet and talented and special. We want to be liked and held in high esteem. Face it – we want “all eyes on me”; we want to be praised.

I read two scriptures in the last couple of days that have been rolling around in my mind.  They are:
But You are holy, O You who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered].
Psalm 22:3 (Amplified)

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.
Hebrews 13:15 (Amplified)

These scriptures speak of two concepts:
  • God dwells in the praises of His people 
  • We are to constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise
The idea of “praise” here means literally “thank offering”.  We offer our praises to God as a thank offering and He promises to dwell in those praises.  He’ll be with us in a special and unique way, abiding in our praises as we lift them up.  But for the people-pleasers out there like me, I’d like to offer an additional view just for us.
What if we were to offer the praises we RECEIVE as a sacrifice to God?  Suppose we were to lay down all those kudos and pats-on-the-back on the altar before Him.  Certainly, it would be a different type of “sacrifice of praise”, but would it be any less valid?  If we are “constantly and at all times” offering up our own praise as a sacrifice, wouldn’t it be an act of deflecting personal praise to reflect it all back on Him where it should be?  
We were never intended to worry about what other people think of us and be ruled by how our performance is received by our “public”.  We were intended to find freedom in what God thinks and try to live fully in ONLY HIS view of us.  For me (and maybe you?), the only way to stay the course in this arena is to make a daily “sacrifice of praise” and watch God abide with me in a whole new way.