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Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow tackled a subject Christians of all ages deal with: people pleasing.
In a recent Instagram post, the former pro-football player offered encouragement to his followers who struggle with what people think of them.
"Growing up, I always wanted people to like me," Tebow wrote. "I was what you would call a people pleaser. Today, while I still strive to do good things for others as we all should, I've come to realize that our main audience in life isn't other people. It's God. Be motivated not by what other people think about you but by what God thinks about you!"
For many younger Christians who look up to Tebow, this challenge is an everyday occurrence. In public schools where many teaching staff and administrators are openly hostile toward Christianity, the youth of America struggle with pleasing their friends and being accepted in social groups.
That is why it is so important for mentors like Tebow to disciple those who struggle with pleasing God first above everything else.
These feelings affect adults as well. Some who have struggled with people pleasing as a kid like Tebow acknowledged can develop this type of attitude in their working life, going along with the crowd so they do not suffer career repercussions.
Tebow's words ring true with what the Bible also says in regard to pleasing man versus pleasing God. In Paul's letter to the Galatians, he tells them in his opening chapter that if he were trying to please man, then he would not be a servant of Christ (Gal. 1:10).
Tebow has been consistent in spreading this message for years now. In June of 2020, he shared a video explaining that caring too much about what others think of you will get in the way of fulfilling God's purpose in your life:
"I want to stand up for what's right. I want to stand up for good things. I want to stand up for Jesus. I want to stand up for life. I want to stand up for all these good things. But I hate when people say bad things about me," Tebow said. "And then a lot of times, you'll say, 'But that's not even true what they say.' And it will consume you, and if we let it, critics will consume us. And then, if we let it, we'll let critics change our decisions: 'I'm not going to do this because I'm afraid of what they're going to say.' And so, we change what we're going to do, and we let them define our life. We can't give them the right to define your life.
"Only God has the right to define your life," Tebow continued. "But we give critics the right to define us because we're so scared of what they're going to say. We're so scared of having people not like us. Your critics can consume you. But we can't give them the right. Only God has the right."
It is in one's weakness that God's strength is revealed. When Christians lay down their fear at His altar, they open the door for the Holy Spirit to bring strength and power to overcome not only fear and uncertainty, but also to change the world around them with His glory.
James Lasher is Staff Writer at Charisma Media.
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