Constantly seeking the approval of others rather than resting in God’s approval leads to people pleasing. It involves us often being afraid of people’s reactions to our needs, wants and desires, and therefore we stop inviting others in and resist what we really need. We can all fall into the people pleasing trap.

Proverb 29:25 declares that this fear of man will prove to be a snare. The definition of the word snare in English means “a trap,” much like ones to catch an animal. But the word is used in this verse carries a meaning that goes far beyond critter-catching.

In the original Hebrew, the word translated in English as snare is the word moqesh. Moqesh doesn’t only mean a trap for pray; it also conveys the concept of bait or a lure. It indicates an animal, object or person that is enticing, causing another to stop what they’re doing and put themselves into a dangerous situation because of the “prize” in front of them. Before they know it, they’re caught!

From time to time we have all been caught in a moqesh. So what are we to do to free ourselves from this snare? We wiggle free when we realize we do not constantly need the approval of others. We have already secured the greatest approval of all: we are all children of God. He can grant us the courage to resist being caught in people pleasing.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, God wants us to discipline our minds to remember that we already have God’s approval from others. Ask God to help you make choices based on what He wants you to do rather than on someone else’s approval. We can learn to entrust our lives to God, giving responses that line up with His Word, carried out with confidence instead of timidity.