I come from a long line of “people pleasers”. Some may call themselves a “peace maker” but at the end of the day, the aim is to please people.
All of my life I have wanted to make everyone proud. I’ve never wanted to let anyone down, or not live up to their expectations. I wanted to be strong, to prove to everyone I was capable. This was apparent when I learned how to castrate cows in high school. My boyfriend at the time told me I probably couldn’t do it, so I had to prove him wrong:) He never said those words to me again.
In my adult life, I find myself still trying to please people. The unfortunate thing is that no matter how hard I try, everyone is not always going to be happy all the time. Therefore, I walk away most of the time feeling defeated.
Last week was the icing on the cake for my realization of this fault of mine. I will honestly admit (which is very hard for me to do) it was the hardest week I have had yet. Which is surprising to me. I was missing my daughter terribly, feeling like I was starting the grieving process all over again. On top of that, things were crazy at work, it was SaraGrace’s birthday, I was preparing for VBS, and in the midst of all of those things, I was feeling like I wasn’t living up to expectations of others in any area of my life.
I cried every day, all day long. I was very short-tempered and feeling overwhelmed. For those around me, it was hard for them to see me act this way. My explanation was simply that I am tired of every one expecting me to keep it together all of the time. It seems as though I was the strong one in the days leading up to Faith’s birthday, but for today, I just can’t be that. But then I was reminded that no one expected that out of me. I put those expectations on myself, as to not let anyone down. It’s the “people pleaser” in me.
When I finally got so overwhelmed I couldn’t take it anymore, I cried out (more like sobbed) to God asking him why I had to be this way. But then He placed this conviction on my heart….
Exodus 20:3 – Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
I didn’t have to think twice about that one. I knew exactly what He meant. I had been so caught up in what everyone else wanted me to be, I didn’t have the time to worry about what God wants me to be. He doesn’t expect perfection, because He knows we are not perfect. But He does expect obedience, something I haven’t had the will to give Him lately. What would happen if I put the same effort of pleasing Him that I put forth in pleasing others? Now that would be AMAZING!!!
I prayed and asked Him to forgive me for placing His expectations on the back burner. I asked Him to help me get over this hump, and to look to Him for my hope and strength, not what other people think of me. I know that when I stand before Him in Heaven one day, He will not care that I lost sleep over pleasing the people in my life. What He is going to care about is what I did that was pleasing to Him.
What other gods do you have in your life? Are you placing them before Him? Don’t be a “people pleaser”. You’re ultimately going to fail. Instead, I encourage you to live your life to be pleasing to Him.