Monday, March 11, 2013

The Confessions of an Addicted People Pleaser

A month ago, I sank to an all new low.

In the busiest season of my life (huge project at work, book deadline, serving at The Porch, family, friends, attempts to sleep), I couldn't juggle all of it. I felt stuck in the middle of a tug of war, unable to make anyone happy. I was miserable. Maybe that's an understatement.

Jesus Calling
Turns out I am an addicted people-pleaser, even more so since facing rejection with school and jobs in the past couple of years. Crazy how seemingly good intentions can be a breeding ground for unrecognized addiction. But that's no excuse.

I want to make my friends happy by spending time with them and building memories. I want to make my family happy, realizing that they are the ones who are constant. I want to spend more time on the phone with my best friends who live across the country. I want spend more time talking to the girl who needs someone to walk with her through a struggle. I want to invest energy in work so that I can support my team and my boss. I want to write books that encourage and challenge people.

(I also want to sleep.)

Somewhere in the midst of doing all that stuff, all of which is great, I lose myself and the need to please becomes an idol. And I cease to be still and remember He is God(Psalm 46:10).

The last couple of weeks, I've sought to be intentional with changing my attitude when the need to please suffocates my joy. The key to failure is trying to please everyone, and it robs me of my effectiveness and energy to do what I am actually called to do: seek the face of Jesus, to love well, pursue holiness, and make God known. There is incredible freedom in remembering that the pressure is off and that it is not about me or what I have to DO, but about who He made me to BE and how I can best glorify Him. Whatever I set my hands to, I want to do with all my heart. I want to make an impact for the King, and pleasing others will become an added bonus (Col. 3:23)

When it becomes a heart issues, juggling all that is a joy and not a burden, an investment instead of taxing. And I'm getting there.

"But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts." (1 Thess. 2:4)

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