People Pleasing Syndrome

"It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater (One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater) A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater... Sure looks strange to me (One eye?)" Several months ago I was walking around my home sulking with tears in my eyes, and I began to change the lyrics to that 1958 classic around just a bit. I found myself singing them out loud, “SHE was a one eyed, one horned, flyin’ purple people pleaser, One eyed, one horned, flyin’ purple people pleaser… And I was directing those words straight at me!  Yes, I have finally admitted it. There have been times that I have been guilty of  wallering in the pit of  what I call the People Pleasing Syndrome.

People Pleasing Syndrome

I don’t know why it was so hard for me to write this devotion. It is the one thing about myself that is so absolutely irritating to me. I have seen it cause fear, attack my self esteem, produce anxiety and unnecessary worry and just being candid, I have seen in the past where I allowed it to bring about sin in my life. Yes, I said SIN! When you believe man’s opinion of yourself over God’s opinion, and you seek to please people more than God, my friend that is just plain SIN.  There goes my hot pink painted toes again. I just stepped all over them and Honeychild, I am gonna need a pedicure!

Can you relate to not being able to say “no” to commitments, committees, volunteer projects…. because you don’t want to cause any conflict or you don’t want them to think badly about you? And then you've allowed all those priorities to interfere with your time with God, your spouse and your family?

I reflect back and shamefully there have been times in my past when I even permitted people pleasing to alter my personality.  I am sure that I have looked one eyed and one horned and every shade of purple!  I remember in particular several years ago, gathering at a restaurant  table with a group of what I would call influential and popular ladies in the community, sharing the fake laugh, listening to their profanity and flirtatious remarks, yet seeking their approval and trying so hard to fit in with the 'in' crowd, ignoring all along that God did not want me to be in that SIN and that place to start with!

I look back and I have even changed things in my life to suit man’s agenda. I was ignoring what the Holy Spirit had planned for my life! For too long, I was enslaved to it, feeding off of the approval and affirmation that I received from others. I have actually tossed and turned in the bed at night filled with anxiety. “Why doesn’t she like me, what can I do to change it, what do they think of me, what does this person think or that person think…" It was not until I began to cry out to God and say Father God, I need you to heal me of this disease, this desire to please others, instead of pleasing YOU, that I was able to break free!

I am Beverly Weeks. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am funny, I have a big trunk, an extra belly roll and a few sprigs of gray on the top. I am spontaneous, creative, have been known to stick my foot in my mouth. I mess up and have been known to cry out to God in rage and fall to my knees and seek forgiveness and I refuse to live nothing less than what my GOD has in store for me!

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


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