I’m not usually a new year’s resolution type of girl. Some years I’ll decide that it’s time to cut out chocolate (unfortunately I’ve never quite been successful at that one) and other years I’ll vow to go to the gym regularly and attempt to become a body builder (lol). But most years, I’m honest with myself and admit that I’m just no good at keeping resolutions.
This year however, I’ve had a particular thought on my mind. One that has actually been niggling in the depths of my heart for several weeks. When I read a particular verse in the Bible during one of my morning devotions, I knew that it wasn’t just a silly Mieke thought/a likely flop resolution for 2017.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for other people.
This verse was all the confirmation that I needed from God. 2017 will be the year I cross off the people-pleasing trait from my personality profile. For anyone who knows me well, you’ll probably be breathing out a sigh of total relief on my part. People-pleasing is by far one of my biggest weaknesses. I used to see it as a strength – that I was actually just so caring that I was willing to do anything and everything for anyone.
But in the past couple of years, I started to notice that my people-pleasing habits weren’t coming out of a place of love but rather a place of needing approval and acceptance. My mind was convinced that if I didn’t do all that people were asking me to do, they would immediately start disliking me. They would surely put a cross next to my name, along with the word useless. I would be seen as unable. Perhaps boring. Maybe they’d even think that I was unfriendly.
People-pleasing in such a way is unhealthy – simply corrosive to the heart, mind and soul.
God never called us to be people-pleasers, but instead He calls us to be people-lovers. He wants us to care for His children – our brothers and sisters who we share the earth with. He doesn’t want us worshiping them, bowing down to their every beck and call (I’m being dramatic, I know). He knows that the minute we start worshiping them and their needs, we’ll try to gain their love and approval in return. We’ll need their stamp of recognition in order to feel valued and worthy.
That’s what leaves us feeling empty and hurting. Because ultimately our true value and worth can only ever come from our Creator. He knows what we need and He is and always will be the only provider.
Once we have found our value and worth from Him – regularly quenching our soul’s thirst from the well of Living Water – we can get into a position of being ready to love people the way He wants us to love people. We can love and care for His sons and daughters through serving Him.
So to put a long story short, this new year does in fact bring a new me. I’m no longer Mieke People-Pleaser Maybury. I’m Mieke God-Pleaser, People-Lover Maybury. I’m finding all the approval I need from my Heavenly Father alone. I don’t need to say yes to people in order to feel loved, because I’m now empowered to politely say no out of a place of love.