I struggled with identity. I was a people pleaser. Truth be told: I sometimes find myself falling back into that “trying to please the people around me” mode and I have to shake myself out of it.
I fell into the trap, of not knowing my identity. Once you fall into that trap it’s a downward spiral. The devil attacks your identity from young and along the way there are little jabs that come and add to the brokenness. Until you learn and ACCEPT who you are and whose you are it’s just going to get worse and you are going to be on a constant quest to make people like you.
I woke up one day and was like: “Who am I?” “What do I like?” “What makes me happy?”
Almost all of my adolescent life (and a bit of my adult life thus far), I have had people call me fake because I was “super nice to others.” Yeah they actually said that, multiple people, at different times in my life SMH. At one point I started questioning “was I really fake?” I didn’t know who I was anymore. I became double minded. I claimed to love Jesus but my time and energy was spent trying to please people and not trying to please Him. I shifted the way I did things to make sure people liked me and that they were happy. In the process I lost me.
There are two main tactics I used in my people pleasing. Let’s be honest, I could talk about a lot more instances but this post would go on forever so let’s just focus on two:
I fooled my self with the thought : “Well the compromise is only temporary.” I was raised with Christian values but in my pursuit to please everyone around me and to make myself “likable”, I would compromise these values. My thought process was; if I compromise a little here you will compromise for me in another area.
In one scenario in particular, I went with the notion, if I could make this person happy and make them understand how much I care for them they would want to do something for me in return and maybe even go to church with me. I did have boundaries though, there were only certain things I would compromise with and there were lines I wouldn’t cross. What a joke! It got to the point where me compromising became so much of a norm that I am not sure I could refer to it as compromising anymore. Some of the boundaries I had in the beginning were now blurred, and I was crossing them. How could I be a witness to this person when I was living just as they were? I lost my witness, not only to them, but also to everyone else that was around us. Looking back at the situation I realized how much of my values and myself I compromised and did not get much in return
Defending my character:
When people didn’t like me or I was falsely accused or even when I was correctly accused, I had to defend me. I had to explain and make them understand why I did what I did or that I didn’t do it or I was right or whatever. Then I realized, I don’t have to defend my character in every situation. I need to let God fight the battle. Who better to fight that battle than Him? He knows me better than I know me.
Okay, so let me tell the truth and shame the devil here. This one right here, I am still struggling with. I still try to defend my actions and prove that I am right, all the time.
In this season… right now… as in it is currently happening… God is telling me: Child, sit down somewhere worship me and watch me work on your behalf. My character has come under attack so many times in the past few months, I was growing weary of defending me. Trying to convince people that my actions are genuine, that I wasn’t being malicious and just defending everything I did. I am exhausted just thinking about it. As recent as yesterday morning I was reminded that I don’t have to keep fighting this stuff! God’s got me! When you try to defend yourself you can make things worse, grow weary or both. Oh, and while you are busy defending who you are or weary and drained after defending yourself, who is working on your assignment? Who is working on your Kingdom business? See, it’s just a distraction! You are a child of the King and He is the Lord God Mighty in Battle. So you have the greatest defender ever, you don’t have to worry about it!
In this journey from being a people pleaser to being a God pleaser a few things keep me grounded:
- I have to know who I am and whose I am and ACCEPT it. If I don’t, I am going to be constantly looking to people for validation. Knowing that I am a child of the Most High King, who is my savior and creator, leads me to realize that; He is the ONLY one I need to please. Everything I do needs to honor Him.
- No matter what I do I am not going to please everyone. Someone is going to be unhappy or offended by my actions, someone is going to not like me and I have to learn to be content with this. Now I am not saying be indifferent to people’s feelings. What I am saying is; if you are fulfilling my first point, then if someone is offended or doesn’t like you it’s their problem not yours. Don’t stress about it! God’s got them too, He will walk them through it.
- Compromise (even just a little bit) of my values takes me out of the witness position. This tactic more than any other, leads you into a trap of losing your identity and then the downward spiral begins. Don’t do it!
- God is my defense attorney. My focus needs to be on Him and the assignment He has given me. He will defend me and He will clear my name when it is slandered. While I am focusing on the things I am supposed to be doing, the people who need to see my true character will see it.
What about you, who are you focused on pleasing?