Faithfulness

From People Pleaser to God Pleaser!

People Pleaser: n. a person who spends a lot of energy pleasing others.

“I’m hungry could you get me something to eat?” YES… “I’m tired will go to the store for me?” YES… “It’s late but I really want to see you, will you come over?” YES… “Will you go shopping for me?” YES… “I have a bill due could you pay it for me?” YES

Hello my name is ______________ and I’m a people pleaser.  For me, this is beyond familiar. If I tell someone NO, it is like disowning him or her.  It seems that far-fetched to me.  I say YES before I stop and evaluate my own needs or schedule.  I may not feel passionate about the request, but I comply, mostly because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make someone mad.

To be truthful, I seek validations of self-worth or value from others.  But WHY?  I say I am a Christian and I have accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, but why do I/we choose people over our Father in Heaven? For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 ESV)

So much time and energy is put into meeting the needs of others that I find myself losing touch with my own life, and my relationship with God suffers.  We give man (men and women) too much credit, and we fear them instead of God.  Proverbs 29.25 states that the fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trust in the Lord is safe.  Isaiah 51:7 speaks truth when it says, “Listen to me, you who know righteousness the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their reveilings.” (ESV)

I discovered myself having a people pleasing personality a very long time ago.  I pray to God for understanding on why I feel this way and through my prayers God is giving me daily knowledge and understanding that not everyone deserves my YES.  Hold on and understand that whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23 ESV)

Dear Daddy,

I have let You down.  I have looked for man’s validation over my life, but only Yours matters.  Forgive me, God, for not pleasing You and going after Your heart.  Thank You for the understanding to know that saying YES to man is not wrong, but pleasing man and putting man above You is wrong.  I love You, Lord, for loving me as much as You do.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to choose wisely who gets a YES from you. “Will you mediate on my word more?” YES…”Will you forgive your brothers and sisters who have forsaken you?” YES…”Will you go out into the world and tell people all about me?” YES…”Do you love me?” YESSSSSS!  Hello my name is ________________ and I’m a God Pleaser!

Have you overcome “people pleasing?” Tell us what it took for you to make that transformation.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: I Am Free: The Ultimate People Pleaser

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Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.” She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry. Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service. She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden. Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation. Her favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:6: “And without Faith it is impossible to please GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must BELIEVE that He exists and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.”

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Anxiety, Back To School Series, Motives

Back to School: What Excites You

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.  Read this week as our writers will share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  So, come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

I can’t sleep.  I’m so anxious, excited.  Clothes laid out, sleeping on my hands so my fresh new hairdo won’t mess up.  New clean white kicks.  I’m ready to impress everyone so they can see how “sharp” I am. Oooh, I hope “Johnny” notices me since I’ve matured a lot over the summer.  I’m ready!  I’m on Cloud 9! I wake up before normal time.  I get dressed.  I don’t have an appetite for breakfast because my nerves are going crazy.  It’s officially the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.  Seeing my friends is priceless.  The different teenage groups gather, and the hating nature begins. It’s day one of an unpredictable school year.

It’s funny how at the tender age of 15 I was anxious and trying to impress those around me.  I was so excited for the first day of school, not even being aware how the preparation for the first day was going to affect me and the rest of my life.  My excitement stemmed more from trying to impress my peers. However, I wasn’t putting my energy into trying to impress the right person.

The first mistake we commonly make in life is being anxious. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.” (NLT)

 Secondly, we focus on ourselves way too much.  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility considers others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interests of others.  Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:3-5 NLT)  I wonder if Jesus was selfish and told God, “Daddy I’m sorry, but I’m not shedding anything for people that don’t like me.”  I’m so glad Jesus is not like man.

Last but not least, we are here for a purpose of pleasing God.  There’s nothing wrong with us being excited or having joy.  God wants that for us.  But God also wants our hearts to be connected to Him, our spiritual desires to be with Him, and our fulfillment of life to surround Him.  As women we should seek God.  May we find complete fulfillment in the relationship with Him.  Psalms 63:1-5 says it best, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and wary land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of food; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” (NLT)

Dear Daddy ,

You are my joy and I thank You for all You are to me.  Thank  You, Lord, for speaking to my heart so that I may hear You.  Help me to seek Your approval and not that of man. I love you Lord.  You are my everything and all I need to excite me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to survey your life and see what or who excites you? Who are you seeking to please? If God is not first on your list, I EMPOWER you to re-prioritize. It’s okay to be excited about the first day of school, work, marriage, etc. but it’s important not to forget who blessed you with those first days!

In what areas have you sought man’s approval over God’s? How did you overcome that?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Ultimate People Pleaser

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Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.” She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry. Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service. She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden. Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation. Her favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:6: “And without Faith it is impossible to please GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must BELIEVE that He exists and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.”

Growth/Maturity, I Am Free Series, Relationships

I Am Free: The Ultimate People Pleaser!

To commemorate our nation’s independence this week, we are featuring a series entitled “I Am Free”. Read this week as our writers share how God has delivered them and set them free!

I am FREE from people pleasing!

Growing up, I never wanted people to be mad at me so I always tried to be the peacemaker and peacekeeper. I was around people who were angry of all of the time and pretty irrational in their behavior so I would go out of my way to avoid their wrath. However, that did not work and it only gave me a bad case of the “People-Pleasing Syndrome.”

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. (Proverbs 29:25 KJV)

Many times I would try to please people so much that I would sacrifice my own happiness and desires just to make them feel comfortable. I did not want people to be upset with me so I avoided confrontation. For those of you who know me, you are probably thinking that is NOT the Chanceé that I know; however, I have to be honest. My people pleasing was more evident in my relationships with men than in my friendships. I can recount the times when I knew that I was wronged or there was an issue that needed to be addressed but I would suppress the emotions because I did not want to make him “mad” with me.  I thought that if we didn’t argue or if I didn’t reveal my true feelings then we would have a happy relationship. I also let this carry over to my body by giving in to sex even when it was not my desire. Yes, I had a horrible case of the people-pleasing syndrome. It was unhealthy because it led to resentment and anger that would cause me to later explode. The stress, heartache and resulting emotional eating could have been avoided if I didn’t let my desire to please people consume me.

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 KJV)

Thank God for deliverance.  He revealed to me how my need to please people, particularly men, kept me out of right relationship with Him. I wasn’t being truthful and it caused me to give in to sin when that was not my desire. This doesn’t mean that now I am a firecracker and every time I disagree I explode. What it does mean is that I am now free to tactfully express my feelings and to say no and not fear the reaction. Now I take my own happiness into consideration when I make decisions. I can make sound decisions based on what I believe is right. Being a doormat is not an expression of love and in the end it does not win you favor with men or with God.

Examine yourself; are you more concerned with what people may say about you then doing the will of God? Do you sacrifice your own needs and desires because you don’t want to rattle the feathers of others? Have you given in to activity or avoided doing what you know may be right just because you didn’t want people to talk about you? Do you overpromise? Do you attract people who need to be rescued or consoled all the time? Do you avoid conflict and disagreements and rarely make decisions? If you can find yourself in any of these scenarios, you may suffer from the People Pleasing Syndrome too. Remember that it is not God’s will that any of us lead unhappy and unhealthy lives. We have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can only concern ourselves with pleasing God.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for freeing me from my people pleasing tendencies. Help me to assess situations and recognize if I am being disobedient to You and getting distracted from my journey by trying to please others. Grace me with the tact to express and handle disagreements without fear of the outcome. I trust that if I strive to please You in all that I do, You will work out each situation on my behalf. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!  

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to drop the added burden of people pleasing. It does not make you better. You will not win more friends nor will you save a relationship by being a doormat. In the end you will only end up upset and hurt. Seek direction from God and examine the root of your people pleasing so that you can live a more fruitful life and live in truth.

Are you a current or former sufferer of the People Pleasing Syndrome? How has it affected you? Share your story with us in the comments.

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”