The Biblio-Files

bib·li·o·phile (bĭb'lē-ə-fīl') n.

1. A lover of books.
2. A collector of books.


Priolo's Pleasing People, Part 1

Part 1: Our Problem

Here are the chapter titles and some of my favorite/most-needed quotes from Part 1. These don't summarize the chapters by any means; rather, these are just some of the many ones I needed to hear in high school and indeed, to this very day.

1. Characteristics of a People Pleaser
Not only does the people-pleaser love the wrong thing (the approval of man rather than the approval of God), he fears the wrong thing as well - he fears the disapproval of man more than the disapproval of God.

A people-pleaser is not a peacemaker, but rather a peace-lover... A peace-lover is so afraid of conflict that he will avoid it at almost all costs. He is so concerned about "keeping the peace" with his fellow man that he is often willing to forfeit the peace of God that comes from standing up and suffering for the truth.

2. Is It Ever Right to Please People?

In this chapter, Priolo explains that there are biblical commands to please others - parents, spouses, earthly masters, the lost, etc. He makes the distinction that it can become sin when you have an INORDINATE desire for their approval or if you compromise the Bible or the Gospel in order to win it.

3&4. The Dangers of Being a People-Pleaser/More Dangers of Being a People-Pleaser

Rather than looking into the Bible to see what things God wants one to put off and put on, the proud person makes a top priority of correcting things that may displease others, even though such changes matter little to God.

He has allowed saying "yes" to good things to keep him from doing other things that should have been considered more biblically necessary.

5. You Can't Please All of the People Even Some of the Time
Even with all His (Jesus) virtues - His blamelessness, His ability to heal, His love, His goodness... He did not prevent everyone from speaking evil against Him and rejecting Him. Neither did He try to do so. Why, then, should you?

The only hope you and I have of pleasing people is by introducing them to the One who can truly please and satisfy them - the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet even that has one difficulty - especially if you are a people-pleaser: by introducing them to the Savior, you face a greater likelihood of being rejected by them yourself. Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ?

6. But You Can Please God

In principle, learning to please God instead of man is the single greatest remedy to the problem of pleasing man.

7. Some Points About Pride

If you have anything to be proud of, remember what it is, and that it is not your own, but has been given or lent to you by God, who especially hates pride.
- Richard Baxter

Pride is an insidious thing. Just when you are convinced that you have one of its tentacles under control, another one snakes out to grab you. Oh, it has probably been there all along, but you never saw it before. So off you go to try to bring it under the Spirit's control and in time, by God's grace, you do. Then, just as you're thinking you've got it under control, out wriggles another one. Pride is like a garment with a million secret pockets that you're constantly discovering.

My thoughts so far? It's worse than I thought. It's more dangerous. More deadly. More idolatrous and hypocritical. Deadly to my friendships, marriage, evangelism and even my church.

The final half of this book will be God's gracious remedy. I'd honestly appreciate prayers for me as I read the rest of this book. And... I highly recommend it.


Holly said...

Thanks for sharing. At the risk of stroking your ego and telling you that this post pleased me, ;) I will go ahead and say that I am encouraged by your pursuit to overcome this sin by God's grace.

One thing I will add to it, which I only know because of personal experience, is the deadliness of perfectionism. In my own life I have noticed how perfectionism, though disguised as "working hard and doing my best for the glory of God" is also people-pleasing more than God-pleasing because God does not have expectations of every little detail of our lives to be perfect (I still don't know what to do with that verse "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect"), but many times this is an expectation brought on by our own selves. The result is as detrimental as people-pleasing, even though it is self-pleasing (for me, anyway). I am a people so I guess self-pleasing could be in the same category of people-pleasing. :)

Nevertheless, the result is becoming prisoners and making others prisoners of our expectations, rather than looking to God as master and King. The result is, as you know, looking for value and approval in man's eyes rather than God's loving and everlasting eyes.

I look forward to seeing how God will teach you more through the second half of the book, and I'll pray for you that He will do big things to overturn this "beast" in your life. Thanks for the honesty, it's refreshing.

Eron said...


Great review so far! Good choice of book, too. I have eyed that book in the bookstore many a time. Thanks for the run down and good quotes.

I'll start posting again soon once I finish my paper for class.


Sarah Bebee said...

James -- great post! I loved the excerpts. It definitely gave us enough of the book, to make me want to delve into it!! Keep us posted on the second half...and I will be praying for you as you go through it! Can't wait to see you again soon!

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