Friday, July 20, 2012

People Pleaser

“People Pleaser”…ugh, I hate that word.  Just moving my fingers to type in on this page makes me nauseous.  I’ll probably consider deleting this a few times.  I hate the connotations that come with the term – pushover, too sensitive, weak, etc.  And unfortunately, even the word “nice” makes me cringe; this is what I hear: sticky sweet, too weak to have an opinion, little depth, afraid.  That’s what those words meant to me.

And I have been called this more than a few times in my life…and each time the enemy echoed the lies that I was weak, too sensitive, a coward, etc.  The words just kept reverberating inside my head until I believed that’s who I was.  And the more I felt weak, the more I acted weak…but as it is with internalizing these things, they're bound to burst at some point – usually at an inopportune time.

But God’s been working on my heart for a while now, showing me who He created me to be – and I can assure you, it’s not weak.  And He didn’t make you weak either.  But He did make me very compassionate – I really dislike hurting others, and when I see someone hurting (especially emotionally) I just want to have the answer for them. 

The thing is, that the enemy distorted these gifts that God has given me to cause me to feel guilty if someone is disappointed, or even apologize for something I did just because the other person was upset, or do things I don’t really want to because I feel like I should because someone is having a hard time.  But the fruit of this way is always discontentment, frustration, and anger – it can never last. 

One of the fruits of the spirit (Galations 5:22-23) is joy – and when we walk in God’s spirit, we will experience joy in doing what He wants even when we don’t particularly want to or like the task.  Like when I know I need to clean my house and I pray and ask God to help me, even though I don’t really like to mop my floor, I feel joy while I’m doing it. 

The main thing that God helped me to realize is that I was not loving people well by trying to please everyone or make peace with everyone or make everyone feel better about themselves because I often interrupted the law of sowing and reaping and instead of focusing their attention on God when they were in need or downhearted, they were focusing their attention on me. 

Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. (Galations 6:7-8 Message trans.)

It has been one of the greatest challenges I have ever had to know that I have been honest and real, and someone else is disappointed.  Each day I still struggle not to take it back and just fit back into the box I think will make everything alright and happy, but Galations 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not again be burdened by the yoke of slavery.”  So I must stand firm and fight to keep this freedom, to be authentic.  And let me tell you something, when you walk with Christ, being real, being honest and truthful about who you really are (good, bad, and ugly) – it is messy, but it doesn’t mean airing out your dirty laundry to strangers or an excuse for abuse, but it brings things to light where God can heal them, and when you walk by His spirit He can help you to live peacefully with others, even if they choose not to live peacefully with you.

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