For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 ESV
I sometimes think I came out of the womb predisposed to being a people pleaser. It seems to be my default. It is a behavior that I’ve struggled with a majority of my life. And when I did find the backbone to not please the people around me it never ended well.
When a die hard people pleaser stops pleasing, the people who are used to their behavior tend to get bent out of shape. They have gotten used to the people pleaser’s life revolving around making them happy. It can often be a bitter pill for them to swallow.
But here is the thing, we were not created to please other people. We were created to be pleasing to God through an intimate relationship with Him. That is why being a people pleaser is so draining. It is us trying to do everything in our own power all the time. It is us taking on the weight of the world on our puny shoulders. We simply don’t have the strength to maintain that kind of effort.
When I returned to a relationship with the Lord, I felt led to stop my people pleasing behaviors. But it was a process for me, it didn’t just happen overnight. I had to choose to have my behavior and response be pleasing to Jesus not to the people surrounding me.
I had to say “No” to some things my friends were doing because those things were not going to draw me closer to God. I still have to battle with people pleasing on occasion. Sometimes I lose the fight. That’s when I have to ask the Lord to forgive me…and He does.
This “surreal-ish” artwork is a visual representation of the battle that happens when we are people pleasers. The more people we are trying to please, the larger our burden grows. The people become dead weight that we are forcing ourselves to carry around with us. Pretty soon we are forced to our knees as the weight of them becomes too heavy for us to carry alone.
Here is a little secret: We are NEVER going to be able to please everyone all of the time. The harder we try the heavier our burden becomes. Instead we need to pass the dead weight of those people to the Lord. He will set us free from this vicious cycle of seeking approval from others.
Until next time blessings and healing