I am a people-pleaser. It is one of those qualities that can be very helpful. I can smooth over situations fairly easily. I am not going to pick a fight just for the sake of a good argument, etc. But the down-side is that I can second guess every single decision I make. My dear husband is extremely patient with me. He reminds me that it is impossible to please everyone (I have tried that and failed). But it is still a battle sometimes. Oh, it has gotten much better. Believe me. But it still creeps up its ugly head every once in a while.
It shows its ugly head when I don’t voice my opinion because someone might not like it. When I refuse to take a risk because I might make a mistake or, worse, fail completely. When I make decisions based on what I think others would want and not what I think is good or right. Or I just avoid the decision altogether. When I suppress desires, passions, or ambitions because others might disagree. When I want to hole up with all my ideas swimming in my head instead of sharing them. When I want to perfect the idea before I try it. It is what held me back from starting this blog for you have no idea how long. Or, more personally, when I have to share the failures I have before I can adequately share how God has brought me through and taught me.
It is pride. Oh, I couch it under the title of being a good negotiator, or not trying to stir up trouble, or just minding my own business. It is not, though. Not for me, anyway. It is pride. Pure and simple. Because, gasp, I might not have it all together. Or someone may not like me, Ouch! That hurts. Or someone may adamantly disagree with me.
But then I remember that the people who have made a real difference in my life are not the ones that had it all together. They are the ones who shared how God has changed them. And by nature of them sharing how God changes them they are inevitably sharing their imperfections.
Learning to be content with who I am does not mean I do not want to change. I hope I am daily changing. Becoming more like Christ, being a better disciple, wife, mother, friend, etc. are all things I hope I am changing and improving in. But my reason for change is not to be like someone else or to make someone else happy. It has everything to do with the fact that anything good I have is God’s grace. And the imperfections and sin are opportunities for His grace to shine through even brighter.
The more I understand God’s grace, the more I am content with who I am. Who I am in Christ has nothing to do with how well I keep my home. And yet, He cares enough about me to show me areas that need changed in as simple a thing as putting my shoes away or as serious a sin as dealing with anger toward my husband.
He chose me. He drew me to Himself. He redeemed me from bondage to sin. He saved me from myself. He daily convicts me of sin. And He changes me. I have done nothing. That is the beauty of the Gospel. I need it just as much today as I did when I first trusted Christ. The Gospel saves me. Today.
And you know what that does to my people-pleasing self? It relieves me of the self-imposed bondage of living my life constantly trying to make everyone else happy with my decisions. My worth is not in how many people are happy with me. Not even in how many people like me. My worth is in Christ.
Are you holding back on decisions, pursuits, dreams, or even risks because you are afraid of what people will think?