Sunday, January 14, 2018

Parting Ways With People Pleasing

Hey Friend,

In pondering my word, "Embrace" for 2018, I realize that there are behaviors I have, but would like to change.  I want to embrace a new view of myself.

Confession time....I am a people-pleaser.  By that I mean that I will go to great lengths to please people - multiple people at the same time.  I do this for many reasons:  to keep the peace, to try to maintain people's happiness, to avoid alienation, because of my own insecurities.

I've realized that things have to change.  I think I took my goal of "modeling a servant's heart" too far and became a doormat of sorts.  I will put everyone and everything before myself, to my own detriment, and I believe that is not what God wants for me.

I am worthy too.  God wants me to stand up for myself as one of His children - counted equally among my brothers and sisters.

Matthew 6:24Amplified Bible (AMP)

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].

Though this verse usually refers to either serving God or serving money, or idols, or selfish vices, it hit me that I cannot serve God and has to come first.  In trying so hard to please others, I was, in essence, placing more value on them than I was on the Lord....ouch!


1.  Pride:  I want people to like me.  It hurts my pride when people say disparaging things about me.  If someone doesn't like me or gets angry with me, I need to get over myself.  It also may be their problem and not mine to solve.

2.  Fear:  I have been abandoned in the past and I have a fear of people getting fed up with me and leaving.  I don't want anyone else in my life to leave, so I have bent over backwards to stay in their good graces, lest they get tired of my not meeting their needs and walk away.

3.  Insecurity:  I need to let go of what the world thinks of me and claim the truth that I am God's beloved daughter.  As long as things are okay between God and me, then I am okay.  The Bible even says that friends, family, and the world will forsake you, but God will NEVER leave you.

4.  Peacekeeping:  I don't like conflict and will do just about anything to keep the peace.

I really need to work on living my life to an audience of One!

So what's at stake?  If I keep trying to please others (and it is virtually impossible to please everyone) I wear myself down.  I become a detriment to myself.  I get so exhausted and often bitter about trying to keep everyone happy, that I become no good to anyone. 

God has a job for me to do in His Kingdom, but I can't do it well if I'm always worrying about what others might think. 

I don't want to lose my naturally loving and compassionate nature....that's how God created me.  But, I need to really ask myself, "Am I being a servant or am I being a doormat?"  Big difference.

Luke 16:13-15  “You cannot serve two masters at the same time. You will hate one master and love the other. Or you will be loyal to one and not care about the other."

 Exodus 20:3-6 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

Our God is a jealous God.  He will not tolerate our bowing down to others before we bow down to Him.  He also says this for my own good.  He knows that when I keep my priorities in order and love myself things will go better in my life.

The second part of the Greatest Commandment says to "love others AS you love yourself, not MORE than you love yourself."

God loves me, and He loves you too.  We are His beloved.  He delights over us with singing.  He would not want us to make ourselves virtual slaves to others and to keep trying to ensure their happiness.  That is up to them.  

I am not responsible for other's happiness.  That's between them and God.

If I sound like I'm preaching to myself....I am.  This is a message I really want to embrace this year.  I don't need to be mean, or nasty, or negative.  I can be pleasant, but firm in putting my foot down.  "No" is not a four-letter word.  

If you struggle with this too, will you join me in rethinking pleasing other people?  Is it time to part ways with people pleasing?

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made."  Help me to claim this truth.  Enable me to remember that I, too, am a rightful heir to your thrown.  I am no better than, nor any less than others.  Give me sober judgment as I look at myself.  Let me serve others as Jesus served, but keep me from being a doormat that others know they can walk over.  This is not good for either of us.  Keep my eyes so focused on you that what the world thinks or believes becomes less and less in my mind's eye.  You alone are God and I will serve you first and foremost.  Ease my fears and insecurities and forgive my pride.  You are a good and loving Father and I will forever praise you.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Is this something you struggle with?  What is God saying to you today?  How have you fought against, or how have you overcome the urge to please others?  Will you share?

Be blessed......