I somehow believed the lie that I was here only to please everybody else when I was young.
In school, you only get good marks when you do what the teachers ask.
At work, you only get more responsibility & raises when you do what your employers ask.
In relationships, you only get included when you do what your friends ask.
My dreams were squelched under the expectations placed upon my shoulders by everybody I came into contact with. Leaving me alive but not living the life God intended for me.
Then I walked squarely into the embrace of Grace, and my world was turned upside down and inside out.
Soon after finding Jesus, I remet the man who was to become my husband.
I didn’t yet realize that I hadn’t completely broken off the disease to please so I could relate in a healthier way to those I live and work alongside.
Fast forward several years, to an kind word spoken by one of my employers, which God timed to be spoken alongside His Words He was writing on my heart. I was not to put myself last on my list of priorities, all the time.
I am here to serve my fellow man, we all are.
But God doesn’t ask me to pour myself out in a way that He has not asked me to do. Nor deny caring for myself long term in a way that causes myself harm.
Before I encountered Jesus, I had been taken advantage of my men I dated. My ‘no’ wasn’t respected.
Jesus doesn’t ask me, or you, to be anyone’s punching bag, ongoing butt of their jokes, recipient of their rage, or their casual sex toy. He didn’t design us to be stepped on or destroyed by those who are supposed to love us.
We are to please Him first.
Living our lives as He guides pleases Him.
If your coworker or loved one asks you to do something to please them, and its against God’s standards? God isn’t pleased when we say yes.
Because we were made for so much more than to simply please one another’s whims or join them in their fall into sin.
Our desire to please God is to grow out of our love relationship. When I receive His love, I can share it with those around me. Ultimately pleasing God, which will likely meet the needs in those I care for.
But its His pleasure I want more than anyone else’s.
Learning this fundamental truth? I have been able to discern with His guidance when I am to meet a need and when i am to say no to a request. I am to work my best for His glory, which will likely please my bosses, but happens more as a side effect of working to build His kingdom first than to solely please my employers.
My best yes is to say yes where He wants me to be.
Occasionally, I want to jump and say yes before I make the request known to God. The fleshly me still likes to try and infect me with the disease to please again.
When I am in doubt, I wait.
And oh, I confess i do not like to wait, nor at times to let God make the decision for me, but I know it’s the best medicine to prevent this disease’s return.
Left to my own devices, I slip away and become someone of everyone else’s making… like the main character in that classic movie, Runaway Bride.
God didn’t design me to not be myself, and to let everyone else make my decisions for me as I try to please them at my own expense.
Let me be clear, I love to serve. I love to be His hands and feet, share His words, encourage, love, help as He leads. Pouring ourselves out in service where He has placed us blesses Him.
But I am no longer doing it to please anybody but God.
Whether others are pleased or not is based on their perceptions & expectations, and is part of their story.
My story is moving ahead with freedom to please God first. For it is in Him that we live & breathe & find our meaning.
I am free from the unreasonable expectations of trying to live up to everyone else’s belief of who I should be.
Living to try to please a flawed person who doesn’t know all about me will only lead to the disease to please growing into heartbreak and pain.
Living to please the One who knows all about me, who knows the way I can live my best to serve Him & those around me is my priority now.
If like me, you struggle with the disease to please, do yourself a favor.
Seek the applause of heaven, for a ‘Well done’ from your Heavenly father will ring for all eternity.
God honors our desire to seek Him first. If you find that pleasing Him means those around you are less pleased with you, ask Him what is going on. He will answer you as you give Him the first place He is due.