By Tim Von Dohlen

Reject People-Pleasing, Follow these Stages to Achieve Your Vision

October 31, 2019

It is time for us to look at some of the things influencing good, God-fearing people in the United States and to identify what is holding them back from taking action to accomplish an objective or preventing them from being people who don’t just know their faith but live their faith outwardly. Two of these factors are: 1) fear of people, and 2) lack of vision.

Just Do It

As Bob Gass shares in the Word For Today, God said to Paul, “You’re just the mailman. Some days people will like what you deliver, other days they won’t. You have to deliver the mail anyway. So, I’m setting you free from the fear of their rejection and the need for their acceptance”.

Now be honest, how many times have you known what was needed to be done, known you could do it, but not moved forward for fear someone would not like it, someone would criticize you, reject you, not accept you for what you are thinking of doing? Paul had to be detoxed from the need for peoples’ approval. People will disappoint us in many ways. If you’re determined to do the will of God and stand by Christian principles you should pray, “Lord deliver me from people pleasing, so I can share with them what you’ve given to me”.

Free yourself from people-pleasing

When we watch “news” on TV, see what’s happening on college campuses to deny free speech, read the content of purported sex education classes to children too young to be exposed to those topics, observe how many adults do not accept that there are “absolute truths,” and see that so many place little value on the life of an unborn child, these are examples of good people being quiet to avoid being criticized – wanting to please people for fear of rejection. So, getting free from people-pleasing is an essential element to bring American society back to rational behavior.

I have shared with you previously about our trip to Poland in the footsteps of St. John Paul II. This was a trip that let us explore our vision for a center that helps women medically and saves babies lives.

Five Stages to Achieve Your Vision

Pat and I knew that we had a distinct vision when we formed the St. John Paul II Life Center in Austin, Texas. It was revealing to see how Bob Gass in the Word For Today describes the stages of your vision when it’s for God’s kingdom:

STAGE 1: The birth of the vision. Receiving a vision from the Holy Spirit with excitement and abiding awareness that the vision was from God.

STAGE 2: The preparation. Do necessary preparation and take action on your part or nothing will develop.

STAGE 3: The wilderness and the struggle. Even when from God there will be struggle involved to prove our faithfulness and accomplish our vision.

STAGE 4: The realization of the vision. When we get to enjoy the fruits of our hard work and God’s faithfulness.

STAGE 5: New beginnings and vision. All leaders expressed they found themselves challenged again with fresh vision from the Holy Spirit. In fact, they concluded their lives had been a continued cycle of ever-expanding vision, and as God entrusted them with more it took even greater amounts of preparation and the intensity of the battle increased.

It is amazing how this description of stages of your vision blends with the journey that Pat and I have been on for the St. John Paul II Life Center. We pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide us.

In the words of John Paul II to the Youth of the World on the XI World Youth Day, “The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises toward ever wider horizons.


Timothy Von Dohlen is the founder and president of the John Paul II Life Center and Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas. ( He may be reached at

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