Balance: People Pleasing

I remember when I had just started my Grace & Strength journey a couple of years ago. I started in October (why I started this plan a month before the holidays is beyond me, but God had other plans) and I was doing really well and seeing some positive results.

As Thanksgiving drew nearer, however, I really grew anxious because I knew I would be going home to family and all of the unhealthy food traditions that we observed during the holidays. The reason for my anxiety? I'm a people pleaser.

I want people to like me . . . all the time.

So, I struggle with sacrificing my health goals at times in order to make people happy or to show gratitude for the work they've put into making a meal or snack or that sinfully delicious baked good.

I'll never forget being back home when pizza was ordered for dinner and me having to leave the room so I would not give in for the sake of pleasing others. It was a real turning point in my journey when I realized that my health is more important to me than my desire to please others.

I had to realize that when I focus more on pleasing others than taking care of myself, I am out of balance.

Last week we mentioned the story of Mary and Martha and how Martha was driven by the need to produce in order to find her worth. I also wonder if she was similarly motivated by wanting to please everyone as well?

She sought love by making others happy and, although well intentioned, put herself in a vicious cycle by believing others love for her was based on her ability to please them. This had to be exhausting!

I know that when I focus too much on pleasing others all it does is wear me out, and if I'm not careful; really cranky. Thankfully, Jesus steps in and assures us that we don't have to give in to this lie, that we don't have to constantly please others at the expense of ourselves.

We have the power to say no to treats at office parties and baby showers because we are loved for who we are not by how much we can please others.


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