I want people to like me? I’m a people pleaser. It may be my pride not wanting anyone to find fault in me – yep, I’m going to go with that.
In high school, I had a pair of green and cream, checkered, wool pants. I LOVED those pants. I mean, I strutted down the halls of Michipicoten Highschool in Wawa, Ontario, in 1987 – pretty proud of my checkered pants. Man, was I cool!
BUT when someone made fun of me for wearing the checkered pants…I NEVER wore them again.
There are so many outfits I have passed over in a store because I knew no one would like that eccentric floral pattern – except me.
My heart longs to wear that outfit; I think it’s BEAUTIFUL. But I walk away.
Have you ever felt this way? Are you a people pleaser too?
Are you wearing black but have a longing in your heart to be a flower child? Somewhere in your lifetime, someone said something to you, that resonated…the wrong way.
You look silly –so you took it off.
You can’t do THAT– so you didn’t.
You’re going to fail– you failed.
What will people think of you– so you stayed silent?
Why do we let what other people think of us, control our actions, decisions, dreams, and plans God has for us?
I know I do.
Especially before I am going to speak at an event, and share God’s beautiful words with women, who are hurting. I begin to think about the ladies who are there and what THEY would want me to say…I’m not thinking about what God wants me to say.
I have disobeyed God to get people to like me. Is that lame, or what?
I am a self-proclaimed people pleaser…yes, I am!
Is this you, also?
Have you wondered who you would be if you NEVER worried about what your friends or family thought of you?
I would be a fashion disaster!
I would wear floral pants with a contrasting floral top – yes I would! I might even throw on floral shoes and a floral scarf and a floral handbag. None of them would match, of course. I’m not a fan of matching.
Apparently God isn’t a fan of matching either. He created billions of people – no two alike. We have five kids and there really is nothing about them that is alike, other than their parents. our children’s talents, personalities, hairlines, body types, and IQ’s are completely unique to them alone.
When the kids were small if someone we knew was comparing our kids to other peoples children, or trying to motivate them to do something by saying, “Look at so-and-so they don’t do THAT.” We would limit the time our kids spent with that person.
If we are motivated to improve ourselves so we can outdo others, or please people, something is WRONG.
God wants us to be FREE of people pleasing. He didn’t create us to LIVE for the approval of others. He created us to bring Him JOY.
God created us to reflect HIS glory.
How can we glorify God? By being who he created us to be.
He never asked us to be like anyone else or to conform to the world.
It’s the opposite!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
-Romans 12: 1-2
RENEWING of our MINDS.
Did you catch that phrase in the Bible verse? People pleasing is in our MINDS. And it takes up a great deal of space. At least in my mind, it does.
Imagine for just a moment, what God wants to do with your life; right now, here, today.
He’s shown you a possibility – but you shut him down.
“What will people think of me?”
If you fail, your pride will be hurt. You can’t fail…right? People won’t like you.
Jesus had people chasing him around constantly – insulting him. The Pharisees were trying to trap Him every chance they got.
Trip Him up. Take Him down- that was their goal.
But Jesus kept doing God’s will. He kept his eye on the goal before him, ignoring the words of the naysayers around Him, for the glory of God.
He was focused.
Bring others to God’s Kingdom.
“Who are you?” they asked.
John 8:25-29 NIV
“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”
Do you remember in high school how badly you wanted to be the POPULAR girl? So badly, it ached. Can you recall some of the things you did so people would like you?
Where are those people today? Do you think about them? EVER? I don’t.
That was our main focus as a teenager – to be liked.
Recently, I spoke at a ladies group. I love to speak about JOY. Who doesn’t like hearing about joy? I was quite excited to share this topic with the ladies.
At 4 am, the day before I spoke, God woke me up. “Cindy I asked you to speak on something else, why are you not listening to me?”
“But God, no one wants to hear a serious, solemn topic. I want them to like me. If I speak of joy, they will like me. “
God rolled his eyes. He does that a lot with me.
There I was the day before I was to speak, typing out a new message on my computer about suffering, and glorifying God through your pain.
After the ladies meeting was over I had this beautiful sense of peace, wash over me.
I had obeyed.
But I hadn’t wanted to obey. I had wanted people to LIKE me.
Jesus was never looking for people to like Him. He wasn’t a people pleaser.
His goal was to:
Bring in the rift raft.
Draw in the naysayers.
Bring the broken to God.
Heal the sick.
Love the unlovable.
That meant having people beat him, spit on him, pull out his beard, and flog him until his skin hung off his body.
He was focused on the cross…for your salvation.
Never was it about being a people pleaser.
He was a God pleaser.
Jesus died, so you and I could be FREE from people pleasing.
Free from what the world thinks of us.
Free to be uniquely you.
God intricately and delicately put you together so you could worship God and bring him Glory by only being his created.
Have you ever had a vase of flowers on your counter? Did you stand there and compare each flower to the one next to it? I didn’t think so.
You stood there, and you admired every flower and how unique they were. Every bloom had its own beauty.
That is how God feels about you!
He doesn’t want you to try to be like the other women around you. Flowers don’t please the flower next to them.
Jesus didn’t please others, EVER.
This Easter, ask God to remind you of the cross and what it means:
The One and Only True God cared so much about you, that He would send a beloved Son down from the throne room, to be born of a virgin, to suffer immensely, to die cruelly…so you could find JOY, LOVE, PEACE…because Jesus died for you.
Leave your people pleasing at the foot of the cross.
Embrace the freedom God wants to give you to be the person He created you to be. One who glorifies him through your life, through your suffering, through your kindness, through your uniqueness, talents, and gifts.
Bring them to God.
Offer them up to Him, the healer of people pleasers and giver of freedom. The creator of beautiful flowers (women) designed to reflect his glorious beauty.