Here’s a good resource for Christians who struggle with fearing man above God: Pleasing People by Lou Priolo. It is true that sometimes we want people’s approval so much that we forget about pleasing God; we begin to fear man rather than God. In the first chapter of this book, Priolo gives some characteristics of a people-pleaser. I thought it was a helpful list, so I’ll share it here (in edited form):
1) He fears the displeasure of man more than the displeasure of God (Prov. 29:25, John 12;42-43).
2) He desires the praise of men above the praise of God (Mt. 6:1-5, 23:5-7, John 12:43).
3) He studies what it takes to please man as much (if not more than) what it takes to please God (Prov. 23:6-8).
4) His speech is designed to flatter others into thinking well of him (1 Thes. 2:4-5).
5) He is a respecter of persons (shows favoritism) (Lev. 19:15, James 2:1-4).
6) He is oversensitive to correction, reproof, and other allusions of dissatisfaction or disapproval on the part of others (Prov. 9:7-8, 25:12).
7) He outwardly renders eye service to man rather than inwardly rendering sincere (from the heart) ministry to the Lord (Eph. 6:5-7, Col. 3:22).
8) He selfishly uses the wisdom, abilities, and gifts that have been given to him for God’s glory and the benefit of others for his own glory and personal benefit (1 Cor. 4:7, James 1:17).
9) He invests more of his personal resources in establishing his own honor than he does in establishing God’s honor.
10) He is discontented with the condition and proportion that God has appointed for him (Ecc. 5:10).
Priolo goes on to talk more about when it’s right to please people (in a good way) and also what it means to fear God above man. If you see yourself in parts of the above list, this book might be a good one to help you please God first and foremost in life!