Here’s a good question: what’s the difference between being a people-pleaser and being someone who is a servant of others? John wrote about the attitude of people-pleasers: “They loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:43 NASB). Of course Scripture also talks about those who serve other people in the proper way: through love serve one another (Gal. 5:13 NASB). Lou Priolo discusses the above question – this topic – on page 194 of his book, Pleasing People:
…Won’t I be feeding my inordinate desire to please people if I try so hard to serve them?
“You will if you continue to serve people for the wrong reasons. Let me say it again…: It has to do with your motive. A servant’s heart is an attitude that seeks to serve others – not for selfish reasons such as a desire to impress people (so that they’ll like you) or a fear that if they are not coddled they will reject you, but for their good and for God’s glory. It’s a spirit of wanting to do what’s best for others in light of eternity. It is giving without expecting anything back from anyone. It is serving, knowing that your reward for such service will be given to you not by man, but by God – not necessarily in this life, but in the next one. So if you learn to serve others not for self-exaltation, but because you love God and neighbor, you just may find a whole new joy in serving that you have heretofore never known.”
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