For as long as I can remember, I have been a “people pleaser”. I have no idea why I am the way I am. My name even means “loveable; worthy of love”. I constantly strive to have people see me as “worthy of love”, but often I feel my efforts are exhaustive and fruitless. If I was truly doing something that was my life’s calling, then shouldn’t it energize me and come easily to me? I often, okay always, put the needs of others before my own, and I do not speak up when I should, for fear of offending one of my friends. If I am afraid of offending them, then are they truly my friends? Are people that do not see my value as a human being worthy of my love?
Maybe I struggle so much because my motivations are not pure. Instead of focusing on what someone really and truly needs, I am selfishly trying to get them to like me. Instead of serving them because I love to serve people, I am doing it because I want to find favour with them. What is so wrong with wanting to be the “friend” tagged in all the Facebook posts, or the “friend” who gets texts all day long from people who truly do care and worry about me?
I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that, it’s that I am not serving Jesus when I am serving others first, for my own benefit, instead of in His name. Instead of trying to win my friends’ approval, I should be living according to The Lord and trying to win His approval. According to Proverbs 3:4 “So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.” favour comes from God first, then man. If I instead work hard to please my Father, than favour with man will come next. So how do I serve my Father? By learning how to keep my motivations pure, and doing things for others because I see a need and am able to fill it, not by doing things or buying my friends things so they will like me better. I do not want those kind of friends if that’s what I need to do to be with them. As painful as that is it may be necessary to weed people out of your life in order to better serve The Lord.
Now understanding this, and writing it, does not make it easier. I still have pain in my heart, I am overly sensitive and I am hurting. So what do I do? Firstly I pray. I ask God to bring people into my life who are good for me and will encourage and nourish my walk with Christ. Next I pray for my friends. God has been so faithful to me, I often struggle with something as silly as being impatient with my children, and I pray about it and it suddenly gets better. He will show that same Faith to you. He may not always answer the way you ask, but God never fails and he always sends an answer. He is amazing. After this, I need to remind myself and take accountability for what my role is. I need to become the friend I want and need, to other people. Ever hear the saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated”? Well it’s true–and it is high time I treat people better, set aside my preconceived judgments, learn how to be modest and squish my pride. For I have a lot of love to give, and I am worthy of other’s love.