Monday, June 10, 2013

Stop People Pleasing

I grew up as a people-pleaser. If someone was upset or mad, I felt it was my duty to "fix" them. I had to make things right. I don't really know when I realized this was my "lot in life," but long after I was married and had my own children I discovered a very shocking revelation in my baby book. There is a section for writing various illness and mishaps throughout your baby's life. In one section I found, in my mother's handwriting, "Hives, caused by nerves, prescribed treatment; shot and medicine." I was six years old. 

For as long as I can remember, I truly thought that living in a state of everyone yelling, and me trying to make them laugh, or just make myself invisible, was "normal." I was constantly performing. On the rare occasions when I stayed all night with friends, their homes were quiet. So quiet in fact, that I thought they must be in trouble. This confused me because the only time our house was quiet was when we all got sent to our rooms!

Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting--and conflict. ~Proverbs 17:1, NLT

It wasn't until years and years later, after my own children were grown and out of the house that I realized that I wasted so many years trying to please the very people who could never be satisfied. Truthfully, it was not my place to satisfy them! The only thing to satisfy a restless soul is Jesus. And although I knew Him, I didn't know Him intimately until a year ago when He healed me mentally and emotionally. It is a truly strange and wonderful experience when you can actually feel your soul heave a restful sigh.

...My soul magnifies and extols the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior... For He Who is almighty has done great things for me -- and holy is His name... ~Luke 1:46-47, 49, AMP

Pleasing people no longer held my self-imposed itinerary. My agenda became filled with pleasing the Lord. My itinerary became filled with writing dates, because my goal was to get my story out to those who are suffering in the people-pleasing-rat-race.

Pleasing the Lord is not difficult, either. It is very simple. Get up, talk to Him, read His Word (the Bible), then do your daily tasks. When in doubt, seek His advice. Seriously. Ask God what you should do about something you are concerned about, or a decision you need to make. Seek the Lord when you're concerned about someone. If someone is giving you a hard time, tell the Lord about it. He already knows anyway. Might as well talk to Him about it. He is your "Audience of One." He is the only Person whom you need to please.

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God... ~1 Thessalonians 4:1(a), NLT

My Audience of One. He is always listening to me, listening for me, watching out for me, and always ready to bless me. You may be wondering whether or not He feels the same way about you. He does. But He will not force Himself on anyone. He quietly and patiently waits for you to come to Him. Until then, He will not do anything, even though He desires to!

I may have grown up in the people pleasing rat race, but God helped me to turn off that road and onto His. He helped me because I asked Him to. He even helped me to forgive those who have hurt me. And I try to ask Him to continue helping me every day. Of course, I have days when I don't get to have my quiet time with Him and I miss it. But whenever I get a chance, I slip off and He and I have a conversation. I always feel a lot better after talking with Him.

Are you trying to please people today? Stop wearing yourself out trying to. You don't have to perform. Because God, your Audience of One, already knows what you're all about... and He's crazy about you!


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