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” The greatest among you will be your servant.” Matt 23:11




The bible has a lot to say about serving, after all Jesus Christ was the ultimate servant whom we model ourselves after. The servant sees and meets the needs of others but when this gift is not properly nurtured, it can turn in the negative habits of  people-pleasing and over-giving. People pleasers have allowed their fear of God to be over-shadowed by their fear of people.

Servants’ Strengths:

  • have a natural desire to want to help other people
  • people-oriented
  • have a good understanding of others and emphasizes with others
  • are good listener and people often come to them to share problems and issues
  • are committed to other people’s healing- whether in body, mind or spirit
  • feel best when in service to others
  •  can tune in to a variety of situations and adapt
  • caring for others, anticipating others needs


Misapplication of the gift: People-pleaser / Over-giver

  • over-schedule and over-commit themselves to accommodate other people
  •  say ‘yes’ when they want to say ‘no’
  • overly concerned with what people think about them
  • afraid to express their anger or discontentment
  • put other people’s needs before their own
  • not direct about what they need and expect others to read their mind
  • don’t ask for help – have an ‘I’ll do it myself’ mentality
  • give to others at the detriment of themselves
  • in a perpetual state of multi-tasking
  • don’t set limits and boundaries on allowing others too much access to them
  • over-give time, knowledge, expertise

Root Causes:

  • fear of rejection, failure
  • need for approval

Limiting Beliefs:

  • good Christians should put others before themselves
  • it’s better to give than receive
  • anger is bad
  • everyone should like me


  •  want people to see us as nice, wise, helpful or other positive attributes
  •  want people to like us and feel uncomfortable when they don’t
  •  avoid anxiety of people being disappointed or mad at us
  •  don’t want people to think we’re selfish, self-centered or other negative traits
  •  don’t want to be judged or criticized by others
  •  fear conflict and want to keep the peace

Indirect Effect on Health/Feelings of Discontent:

  • overwhelmed
  • frustrated
  • self-conscious
  • worried about what other people are thinking or saying
  • worried about offending others
  • over-extend yourself

Direct Effect on Health:

  • will eat foods/meals so as not to offend guests/hosts
  • will try other people’s diets and programs just because someone recommended it
  • will easily give in to peer pressure
  • will eat to stuff feeling instead of approach the person who offended them
  • will eat at restaurants other people suggest even though you don’t want to

Effect on Relationship with God

Because  of  their fear of rejection, people-pleasers have a hard time accepting, receiving God’s love. It’s hard to believe that they don’t have to earn God’s approval and fail to be real and vulnerable with God. Their strong need for approval keeps them turning to people instead of God for validation and approval and conversely feeling that they’re not worthy of approval in God’s eyes.


Reset for the: Server/Giver- People-pleaser

Because of their fear of rejection, people-pleasers have a hard time accepting, and receiving God’s love.

Focus on God’s love

1. Morning Prayers:

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” ~ Gal: 1:10

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” ~ Psalm 3:3

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him” ~ Psalm 37:23

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” ~ Col. 3:23

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” ~ Proverbs 29:25

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

2. Phrases/declarations to recite

• What’s important is what God thinks of me

• My assignment is to please God, not man

• I am loved lavishly by God

3. Renew your mind

Lord I thank you that my only desire is to please you and not man.

4. Re-education of who I am

• I am chosen and dearly loved by God (1 Thes. 1:4)

• Love (1 John 4:8)

• Image of God (2 Cor 4:4)

5. Long term strategies

• practice saying ‘no’

• learn to ask for what you need

• practice setting boundaries

• pray before responding to people

• practice self care- schedule a manicure, massage or something to pamper yourself on a regular basis

• learn to use your voice to assert yourself


6. Mindset shifts

If everyone like you then you’re probably not doing great work. I must be about my father’s business