Good morning everyone!
It’s still early , but I couldn’t sleep so I thought it’s best to share.
Recently I’ve been struggling with the concept of people. Now, please don’t think I’m an overly egocentric person, who needs everyone to like her. But. I think I’m a slightly insecure person, who needed everyone to like her, or at least praise from others so I feel like I’m doing okay. You know just external reinforcement.
I’m not sure where this developed from, maybe I didn’t feel like my own efforts were good enough until they were approved by others. Or maybe I’ve felt that I have to get a vote of confidence before I felt good enough, I’m not sure what it is. But it was there, and to a certain extent , still there.
Just that thought that if one person doesn’t like my work it diminishes all the good effort I’ve put in. Or if I don’t get a good amount of views then maybe my work isn’t very good.
Maybe you’ve felt like this before, that even with certain people, there’s just no pleasing them. You can never win. Or even with people you thought maybe they like me, they turn around and changed.
I guess we can call this the diaries of a chronic people pleaser!
It’s not that I was doing things just to show off to people, but I was genuinely focused in making sure everyone is happy, which is not a bad thing. I don’t take that as a bad thing at all, but when I wanted to seek approval from everyone just to feel secure on the inside. That’s where the problem began. I could do good, but maybe if they hadn’t said thank you, Id feel like “maybe I didn’t do enough. Maybe they aren’t happy. Maybe I should change. Maybe I should do more. Maybe they don’t like me”.
And there is a danger with basing your internal feelings with external approval.
There’s a verse I took, and I think i misconstrued the meaning of it – Hebrews 12:14: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”. When I read it again, just this morning, I realised it was freeing, you have to make effort to live in peace with everyone, and to be holy. What does it mean to be holy? To be pure and to be pleasing to God. And what pleases God? Well, there’s lots of things, to live a faith filled life, to believe and to trust in Him, when we love Him, and love our neighbour as ourself.
So I thought to myself, is it peace that I seek with all people? Or is it approval that I seek from all people? And why? Whom am I doing it for? Because it’s clearly not healthy for me!
But I should seek to live in peace with all people. I should make sure that my life is right before God. And understand that not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay!
Does that mean I’ll stop being peaceful if they don’t? Of course not. If Jesus was seeking for everyone to like Him, then goodness, that was a losing battles. Those who may have seen him in the temple were those who were plotting to kill him. David, he was doing good to Saul, playing the harp for him when he couldn’t sleep, yet Saul still tried to kill him! But they don’t stop doing good, because they were not doing it to please men but to please God.
There’s a story I’m reminded of, about the woman in Bethany who anointed Jesus before His death (Matthew 26:6-13)
“ a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Matthew 26:7-10 NIV
What she did, didn’t hurt the disciples. What she used was her own perfume, which was expensive, but it was her own! And she chose to do what was right to God. YET ! They still had something negative to say. If she started to feel bad, because of what they were saying, she may have regretting doing what was right before the Lord. Just because there was some who didn’t approve.
Sometime you do your best and there’s still something someone will say, that’s negative. That’s defeating and you get tired and weary because it’s exhausting. When you try your best and still it feels like there’s negativity.
But I had to learn to be okay with that.
I came to the realisation, that this is something I’m going to have to work on. I have to make sure, yes – be kind to everyone. Yes, pursue peace with others and to put others above myself. But don’t seek approval or reward from others. Don’t base my happiness based on others. Make sure, I’m not doing good to please others but to please God.
I read again Matthew 6:1, in two different versions, ““Examine your motives to make sure you’re not showing off when you do your good deeds, only to be admired by others; otherwise, you will lose the reward of your heavenly Father.” Matthew 6:1 TPT. I realised God was convicting me of doing things to be seen by others and not by Him! So He took away the approval of those who maybe I depended on, for me to be reminded that “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.” Psalms 118:8 NKJV.
Please don’t take this as, be nice only to who is nice to you.
““Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbours and hate the one who hates you.’ However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil. What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that?” Matthew 5:43-46 TPT
So, in my conclusion (I know it’s been a bit of a long post and a heavy topic). I will do good, because that’s the character of God, and what He does. I will seek to live in peace with others and be kind to all. Whether they like me one day or not. Whether they praise me one day and condemn me the next. Why? Because I’m not doing it just to please them, but I know that when I do good, it’s for God. So, I’ll keep on doing good. And I become free.
I read these lovely quotes
I am a work in progress. I am learning and trying. I’m not perfect but I’m progressing. And that’s all I can do, is keep on progressing in all areas of my life.
So, I hope you’re well x and safe!
God bless ♥️.