Sunday, January 5, 2014

Do you struggle with people pleasing or acceptance?

One of the struggles I have had my entire life is pleasing other people.  I want everyone to like me.  The thought of someone not liking me almost seems unbearable.  Why in the world it bothers me so much, I do not know.  

I wonder at times if it comes from feeling like I was a bother to my mom.  I never felt accepted or wanted, so I felt like I was constantly trying to please her.  

When after years of trying, it did not seem to make any difference at all, I went the complete opposite direction.  I would talk back.  I had a horrible attitude.  I stayed in my room all of the time.  I kept canned cokes and Vienna sausages under my bed, so I did not have to leave my room, except to go to the restroom.  

I chose friends to hang around that I knew my mom would not want me hanging around.  I smoked, in my closet, stupidly thinking I would not get caught.  My stepdad could not stand black people, so I flocked to them.  I have always believed skin color does not make one bit of difference.  We are all the same.  

I think since I did not have that need for acceptance met as a child, I still struggle with finding acceptance.  It has taken 35 years for me to realize that acceptance does not come from man. Should it come from our parents?  Yes, it should, but they are human.  As parents, we will fail.  Probably every single day.  

People pleasing is nothing more than trying to gain acceptance from man. The enemy is planting lies that we need to please others.  We can get so caught up in trying to please others that we take our eyes off of God.  It can easily become an idol.  It takes the focus from loving God and others to being all about ourselves.  If the enemy can get us focused on ourselves and what other people think, then he is winning.  

Galatians 1:10 says:

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)

So, when I am trying to please others and trying to gain their approval, the Bible says I am not a servant of Christ.  This is one of the verses I definitely need to memorize this year.  I want to be a servant of Christ at all times.  I want people to be able to pick me out as a follower of Christ.  

James 2:18 says:

But someone will say, “One person has faith, another has actions.” My answer is, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions.” (James 2:18 GNT)

When I am gone one day, I do not want people to remember me as someone that was always wrapped up in what everyone else thought and whether or not someone approved of me or accepted me.  In the end, I want people to see me as someone that only looks to The Lord for love and acceptance.  I want my actions to show that I believe I am loved, accepted and approved of by God.  That and showing His love to others is my goal.  If others are brought to Christ because of the way I live my life, I will finish this race well.  

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