Keller: Free yourself from trying to please others

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017

After making a decision in 1974 to quit drinking, I was introduced to a 12-step program.

The first step was: Admit you were powerless over alcohol and that your life was unmanageable.

I didn’t have a problem with that step, but the second step was: Come to believe that a power greater than yourself could restore you to sanity.” It wasn’t until a couple of months into the program that I realized I needed help.

I went to a psychiatrist for help. I shared with the doctor that I had trouble sleeping.

He said the good news was that nobody ever died from not sleeping. He told me to get up and do something if I couldn’t sleep.

Sometimes I would get up at 2 or 3 in the morning and shine my children’s shoes who attended St. Peter School. They had the best shined shoes of any of the other students.

I only had three sessions, but at the last one, he said, “You’re a people-pleaser. It’s impossible to live a sober, balanced life unless you change your attitude of pleasing everybody.”

I was sober six-and-a-half years before I became a Christian and it was then by reading the Bible and fellowshipping with Christian men that I began to change in that area. I’ve been blessed with God’s ministry of Get High on Life.

The Bible says that whatever you do, perform as you are being watched by an audience of one and that one is God.

When you are free from wanting people’s approval, you then realize there is a big difference between performing for people’s approval and being free to minister to their needs, because you already have God’s approval.

Knowing you have God’s approval, you are able to handle criticism and conflicts, because you know your identity in Christ, you’re redeemed, called, and approved by God.

I’ve come a long way in my temptation to please man, but I still have a way to go.

Whenever I’m tempted to be a people-pleaser, I’m reminded of Thessalonians 2:4: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”

If you have any questions or comments, please write Harold Keller at Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or email