Beach time!

Beach time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The stronghold of 'people pleasing'

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

How many of us have a fear of not being "enough"? Enough for our spouse, children, extended families, employers, church, and friends. You name a situation or relationship and we can come up with a way that we can convince ourselves that we insufficient. Why do we do this to ourselves? As women, I think that we are the worst offenders in this area. (If you are a mom, we've coined it as "mom guilt"). I think it is the way many of us are wired by God-created to be relational, which often can turn into people-pleasing. No so many years ago, I had convinced myself, the people-pleaser, that it was a good thing. On a positive side, I tend to be a peace maker (please don't be mad at me or anyone else!!!) and on the negative side I tended to be a feelings stuffer (if I tell you how I really feel then you really won't like me!!!).

 As I was working through a bible study several years ago, the term "people-pleaser" was amongst a list of traits to circle regarding your relationships with others. I circled it quickly and proceeded down the list. As I read further, I was slightly taken back (ok, maybe a little offended) that people-pleasing was being considered a stronghold. What? As in, it was placed in the same categories as jealousy, anger, worrying, and pride. I'll admit that it took me a while to submit to the fact that the drive to please people was a stronghold that could interfere with my relationship with Christ. Ultimately, my strive has to be to please Christ and Christ alone. If I am walking in this obedience, then all else becomes a side note. Does this mean relationships are insignificant and we ignore life's obligations and the hurting people around us? Absolutely not. It does mean, however, that when I focus on pleasing my God, then the actions overflow to those around me. I don't have to try so hard to be what everyone wants me to be. If I am His and if I am what my Abba Father wants me to be, then I can live Him out to others. In addition, my fulfillment and feelings of self-worth won't be reliant on other people. I will be completely satisfied in Him and Him alone. I will always be "enough" and He will never let me down-always "enough" for me. His grace will be sufficient for me and His power will be made perfect whenever I am weak.

"My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Psalm 73:26

In the same way that Paul talks in Philippians about striving towards the prize, this is my marathon to run. I desire to find my worth and my "enough" in Christ alone and to know that He is my "enough". To remind myself that God is my portion and the strength of my heart.
Oh, Lord, may I learn quickly.

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