That’s the word God placed on my heart for 2013. And already, it’s been a challenging word to strive for.
I suffer from People Pleasing Disorder. My greatest fear is letting someone down. At a glance, it seems like a humble, selfless trait. It’s not. It’s actually very selfish and prideful. I do not want to appear less than “perfect” as a wife, a mom, a daughter, and a friend. I want to meet everyone’s expectations. When someone even hints at something that I failed to meet, I am offended easily and take it personally. My husband probably suffers from this the most. When he simply points out we need more of this or that (usually grocery items) in the house, I secretly get irritated. To me, he’s pointing out something I failed to complete. To him, he just wants some more milk. I know; it’s sickening. It’s very unhealthy, actually.
Recently I had a situation with a close friend of mine. A difference of opinion turned into a few weeks of emotionally exhausting turmoil. Bottom line, I had a hard time dealing with the perception that I am a “less than perfect” friend for her. This has been a very humbling lesson to learn.
What I realized is this: I need to work on developing a healthier conscience. A God-driven conscience, not a people-pleasing, perfectionist-wannabe conscience. I need to create healthier emotional boundaries for myself.
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. –Ephesians 4:14-15
My thoughts, emotions, and conscience are “tossed around” way too much. So this is my new “goal” for the year: God directing my conscience, speaking the truth in love, and not worry so much about other people’s opinions of me. This will allow me to grow more in Christ. I will strive to be truthful to who God made me, what God has placed on my heart, and what God has called me to do.
What I am NOT saying is that I will try to change my personality. I am naturally a soft, easy-going, agreeable, peaceful type of person. That’s how God made me. I am never going to be “in your face” type of gal. However, in those moments when God is calling me to be “truthful” more than agreeable, I need to take the harder road of being truthful…in love.
Truth and love…it’s a hard balance to reach, but I know of the greatest example – The Cross.
I expect it will be a long process for me to learn, but I am committed to this goal. I’m excited for all that 2013 will bring forth from this word: Truthful.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. –Galatians 1:10
Lord, with all my heart, I seek to follow You and to please You, not people. Please help me to remember Who it is that I am living for. Help me to follow the footsteps of Jesus, and live my life with Truth and Love. I desire to grow this year more than ever before. In Jesus’ name, Amen.