welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.

May I please you, please?


Are you a people pleaser? Do you struggle (as I do) by taking it to an unhealthy level? May I please ask you a few questions that you can ask yourself to see if you are joining me in that same destructive direction?


Do you have a hard time saying "no" to people in general?

Do you take on responsibilities that you really do not want to do/have no time to do and then, in turn, harbor resentment? Do you take these responsibilities on out of desire.....or duty?

Do you take responsibility for others moods and/or happiness? And then, does the onslaught of guilt come upon you when they are not happy or content?

Do you constantly need the approval of others? So much so that it affects your choices and decisions?

Do people sometimes take advantage of you when they know you are overly-giving in the physical sense as well as emotional?

Do you constantly sacrifice your own legitimate needs when you are constantly pleasing others and tending to their needs? Does it leave you feeling empty, frustrated and depressed?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, my friends.......I think it is a warning sign that you might be a people-pleaser.....otherwise known as an approval junkie.

Now I am not saying that serving others is not what God calls us to do. But rather, we just cannot turn our actions/motives into an idolatrous concern for what others think of us instead of what God thinks of us. Does that make sense? It can be very confusing as we have read the verses and learned the stories......"Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and give His life for many." But who's servant are we?

I guess what I am starting to learn as I have been praying about this.....is that we are to serve others...... not out of a sense of legalistic obligation, but out of love. When we seek to serve God first.....pleasing others will just follow naturally.

Another side effect of being an approval junkie is the disappointment that is sure to come when we are dependent on others appreciation (or lack of) when we set out to seek their approval. It becomes an obsession and ultimately a downward spiral in bitterness, depression and a feeling of hopelessness.

We have to realize that we cannot please everyone all the time. Not everyone is going to like us, no matter what we do or say. It is human nature to seek the approval of others......we want to be liked, don't we?! And sure it stings when we are rejected......and it will affect us......but we must not let it direct us.

We also need to keep ourselves in check when we go on these approval seeking binges. We need to remember that we cannot give people the right to dictate who we are.......that is God's job. It is a slippery slope of idolatry in a sense when we give people that power. We start to take our focus off of pleasing God when we are chasing the approval of the world. Others' approval becomes more of a priority than God's approval. Is it because we take for granted that God loves us unconditionally, therefore we slack in putting Him and His approval first?

Ouch.


So how about you? Are you an approval junkie? How do you handle it when it takes you to an unhealthyholy level?

I want to share something I heard this weekend as I have been praying about this and it came as such a timely manner (God's good like that). Maybe if you suffer from people-pleasing-itis you might want to write this down and tape it to your bathroom mirror, desk or the dashboard in your car.

God doesn't love us because we are valuable....
....we are valuable because God loves us.



I think when we truly know and believe our worth in God's eyes.....the bondage of pleasing people will be broken off....and we can and will be set free!

Have a great week, my friends.......

Peace~

*~Michelle~*

19 comments:

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

I've struggled with the approval of others for many years, and I know that the Lord is freeing me of this. When I fall back into old patterns, God brings this verse to mind:

Galatians 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Joyce said...

This is the second post along these lines that I've read today that has really spoken to me...both following something I read in a devotional earlier this morning. Sometimes we have to look really hard and sometimes God just sticks up big ole flashing lights so we cannot possibly miss it. Thanks for this...I'm off to exercise and I have lots to think about.

Have a great week!

JC Dude said...

God doesn't love us because we are valuable....
....we are valuable because God loves us.

That...is a great and true thought!
Thanks for sharing.

Peace,
Jay

Andrea said...

I use to be a people pleaser and served b/c of guilt, etc. I learned over time, this is unhealthy. I am harming myself and I am also standing in the way of the person who was really suppose to serve. These were hard lessons to learn...they came through sickness from over doing it, etc. I still struggle sometimes when my peers put pressure on me trying to feel a job, but if GOD does NOT tell me to do it...then I don't do it.
Blessings, hugs, and prayers, andrea

PS: I have an urgent prayer request at arise 2 write.

~*Michelle*~ said...

Love that verse, Jennifer! Right on!

Joyce, I feel blessed and honored to have God whisper a message to you through me....

~*Michelle*~ said...

Jay, isn't that an awesome saying?

Andrea...it *is* unhealthy, isn't it? And it's just what the enemy loves to do.

Just Breathe said...

I was like that. I did it all for everyone and it broke me. I ended up getting ill from my asthma and I learned how to say no. I also found God at the same time.

Kristina P. said...

I can definitely be a people pleaser. I want people to like me.

christy rose said...

We all want people to like us and we all want to please others. It is natural to enjoy the approval and acceptance of others except when it takes the place of the approval and acceptance of God. It is so hard sometimes to know when we cross that line and step over into finding our value in others. The first clue to know when that happens is frustration. :)

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

I think the only person's approval we need to be aware of is God's. As long as we are walking in the path He has laid out before us, we can't go wrong. He will bring us the friends we need to encourage and lift us up.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Billy Coffey said...

I've struggled with this for a long, long time. It's still tough for me to say no to people, but I've realized that by continuing to say yes to everything and everyone, I lose a little bit of myself in the process.

Tracy said...

As one who's participated in a life long struggle with being a people pleaser, you had me from your very title here. Awesome post!

I'm so grateful that God has worked in my life through the years and I experience more freedom from these people-pleasing tendencies than ever before. But let me tell you, having teen agers has brought the challenge to a whole new level!

amanda said...

well since i already sort of wrote a post about this you know my 'stance'.

praying for you and the family! i saw the edit to the post below and totally respect that. just know you've all been on my heart about it quite a bit lately and i've been praying non-stop!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Michelle- this was wonderful for many reasons. I have and do struggle with this, so it is always refreshing to read another point of view on it. Love and hugs to you!

Heart2Heart said...

Michelle,

Please help me spread the word of a sister in Christ who so desperately needs help with a limited amount of time left.

http://godsheart-heart2heart.blogspot.com/2010/05/urgent-prayer-request.html

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Andrea said...

Michelle,
Just dropping in to say...I am thinking about you and praying for you! May GOD fill you with HIS perfect peace, love, and comfort, today. May HE use you in ways beyond your comprehension and may HE spill HIS love out to everyone in your path.
Hugs, love, and prayers,
andrea

Kim said...

Well said.

(I left a long post yesterday about this habit I have of trying to please my mother - yes..at 33 years of age - and how it is never going to happen. I came back today and noticed that it wasn't on here. I think I must of hit a wrong button. It must of been God's way of silencing the "whine".)

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! This is something I am trying to learn in my own life. I have a natural tendency to serve others that sometimes falls more on the trying to please man side. But I am so thankful my worth is in Christ alone and not what this world thinks of me. Thanks for that great reminder today!

prashant said...

That...is a great and true thought!
Thanks for sharing.
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