Q: I’ve finally had to face the fact that my main goal in life is to get other people to like me. I guess most people are like this, but sometimes I’ll go overboard trying to win someone’s favor, even if it means doing something that’s wrong. How can I quit this? — Z.F.
A: You’re right; most of us like to be liked. And sadly, we may even do things we know are wrong (like lying about ourselves or doing things we know aren’t right) in order to get someone to like us. But such “friendships” are seldom lasting. The Bible rightly says, “What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar” (Proverbs 19:22).
You have taken the first step to break away from this by realizing what your motives actually are. All too often we do things like this without even thinking, but this only makes them worse. Instead, face your apparent hunger to be liked by everyone and realize how harmful it can be. The Bible says, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. … Keep your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:26-27).
The most important step you can take, however, is to turn to Jesus Christ and commit your life to him. God loves you more than anyone else ever will, and he wants you to become part of his family forever. Once you understand how much God loves you, your hunger to be liked by others will begin to fade.
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God also will help you deal with temptation, and especially the temptation to impress others and get them to like you. When that temptation comes, face it, flee from it and thank God that he loves you and is your constant friend.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.