Why We Need Freedom from People Pleasing

Would you like to silence fears and please God over pleasing people? The struggle is real sometimes, isn’t it? Debbie Kitterman is here to tell us why we need freedom from people pleasing. Read on for Day 3 in the What Freedom in Christ Looks Like Online Event by the Blogger Voices Network, hosted right here at KellyRBaker.com.

Debbie Kitterman is passionate about equipping individuals to go deeper in their relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is an author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare2Hear,” ministry and d2htraining.com. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to expect the impossible. 

Her book, The Gift of Prophetic Encouragement: Hearing the Words of God for Others, is available at all major online retailers.

“Debbie, where would you like to go for lunch?” 

“Oh, I don’t care, you go ahead and choose, I’m not picky.” I replied. 

The truth is, I did care, and I was picky. The words coming out of my mouth did not match the conversation in my head. 

While out of my mouth came, “I don’t care,” my mind screamed “You do to care you idiot.  Now watch, they are going to choose something you don’t like and you’re going to have to suck it up buttercup and either not eat or choke something down.”  

The Entanglement of People Pleasing 

Whenever someone asked me a simple question about what “I” wanted to do or eat, I would freeze, not knowing what to say. My mind would race, and I would be bombarded by fear, panic and a barrage of “What If” questions.

  • What if I chose the wrong place? 
  • What if they hated the place I chose? 
  • What if they said something about disliking the place I chose, then I would get hurt feelings and feel rejected, so I just wouldn’t, couldn’t decide.  

Now, it seems really silly, but the struggle is real when you have an issue with people pleasing and want to make everyone else happy just so they will like you.

Thank you, Jesus, that I have been set free of my people pleasing tendencies and I can actually tell you what I want to eat now.  Although, I can tell you where I want to eat, there are times that the tendency to people please rears its ugly little head.  

The people pleasing struggle is real, but there is freedom in #Jesus! @Dare2Hear #FruitOfFreedom #BloggerVoicesNetwork Click to Tweet

Being Released from People Pleasing  

As a young child and into early adulthood, fear would appear in my life as people pleasing. I was fearful of what others might think or say about me. I was afraid of being rejected, or not liked because of something I liked, thought or said. Fear of saying the wrong thing often kept me in bondage. It was a vicious cycle. I needed freedom from people pleasing!

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.  – Lao Tzu

Everything I did, said, or thought always had some element of the voice of fear speaking behind it: “You can’t say that, what if you’re wrong?  What if they disagree?” What if… What if… What if !!! 

Ugh, trust me that is no way to live.

People pleasing brings us into bondage by enslaving us to those we desire to please. — Lou Priolo

I do not find my acceptance in what I do or how others feel about me. I find my value and acceptance in Jesus, what He did for me, and what His Word says about me!

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:14-16 NIV). 

Here’s what we need to know: If the enemy can keep us entangled in roots of rejection, fear and people pleasing we will never walk in our full Kingdom Destiny.

If we stay entangled in roots of rejection, fear and people pleasing we will never walk in our full Kingdom Destiny. @Dare2Hear #FruitOfFreedom #BloggerVoicesNetwork Click to Tweet

Jesus came to set us free from all these things and more. We must not become slaves to fear and all its facets. We need to know who we are and whose we are. We need to understand our identity in Christ. The only way we can do that is by being in His Word. Trusting Him and believing Him even when we can’t see it ourselves. 

God Pleasing over People Pleasing

A person becomes a people pleaser when they are searching and seeking the approval of man rather than the approval of God. This brings them into bondage and a partnership with fear as the foundation of their relationships. People pleasing stops us from declaring our faith, standing for truth and finds us partnering with fear.

I was set free from my people pleasing tendencies years ago, or so I thought. There is nothing like being in leadership to expose your insecurities and fears. Seven years ago, my husband and I stepped into our new assignment as Senior Pastors of a local church. At the time I would have said, I don’t have people pleasing issues any more, I‘m good. 

However, I found myself falling back into the trap of wanting to please people and make them happy. I wanted people to like us. I wanted them to choose to attend our church. I began to revert my old ways of people pleasing. Maybe you’ve heard the saying: “You can’t please all of the people all of the time – you can’t even please some of the people all the time.”  

Jesus showed us that no matter what we do, some people won’t be happy. Jesus healed many and performed miracles, one would think this would be enough for them to believe He was the Son of God, but NO. They were afraid of what others would think or do to them, so they chose not to believe.

… the Pharisees continued their threats to expel all His followers from the synagogue; here’s why: they loved to please men more than they desired to glorify God (John 12:42-43 The Voice).

God is looking for a people who desire to glorify Him more than they love to please men. I am here today to tell you, there is freedom from fear of man, rejection and people pleasing.

#God is looking for people who desire to glorify Him more than they love to please men. @Dare2Hear #FruitOfFreedom #BloggerVoicesNetwork Click to Tweet

Prayer to Find Freedom from People Pleasing

Father God, I want to please You more than I want to please people. Help me to silence fear and trust You! Expose the lies and fears I’m believing. Help me to find my acceptance in You Alone. Show me how to walk in my full Kingdom Destiny.

Visit Debbie Kitterman’s site for your FREE 10 chapter ebook download:


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  1. This is such a great encouragement! People-pleasing rooted in the fear of man is one of the greatest obstacles in serving and glorifying God with our lives. Nevertheless, the more we grow in the fear of God, the easier it becomes to overcome the fear of man and our people-pleasing tendencies. Thank you for sharing your testimony of freedom in Christ!

    1. Hadassah, thank you, I am so glad you were encouraged by this post. I have struggled with people-pleasing for most of my life and learned these lessons the hard way. You are so right. the more we grow in Christ, the easier it becomes. 🙂 Blessings.

  2. Kelly, Thank you so much for have me as a part of this series. I sorry in the delay for thanking you for allowing me to be a part of this powerful series. I have been busy traveling and on the road again and finally am in a spot with Wifi. YAY. Blessings to you

  3. I can so relate. I was raised to be a people pleaser. I so wanted to please my parents and others. But that is a road that leads to bondage, because no one can please everyone all the time. I remember thinking one day how Jesus was perfect, in that he never sinned. And yet people were angry and upset with him quite a bit. I remember thinking, if Jesus wasn’t even able to please people most of the time, how could I. Like you said, we are meant to please God, not people. Focusing on what God wants, and not valuing people’s opinions more than his, helps keep me on track to not being a people pleaser.

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