People Loving or People Pleasing

I live in a perpetual state of trying to please the people God has put in my life.  Most times, I think this desire ends with decent results.  But recently I have noticed that being 100% focused on pleasing others has clouded my vision.  I got so spun up in pleasing that I neglected the loving.

It Does not envy

I think leaving my job has been a perfect example of this.  I spent six years pleasing.  Always responding, going above and beyond what was asked of me, trying and trying and trying and trying.  Always assuming that my trying would translate into caring for the people I was doing it for.  Truth be told I was hiding behind my trying.

Since I have told them I was leaving I began to see how much I have truly come to love the people I work with.  You know the saying, “You don’t know what you got ’til its gone.”  It wasn’t until I took a step back to realize that these people would not be such a huge part of my life anymore did I realize that yeah, pleasing people was paying the bills but loving them is what I will get to take with me to my grave.

This got me to thinking, who else am I pleasing instead of loving?  For the most part the people closest to me get both.  My husband, children, and closest family and friends I am intentional about giving them the “real” me whether it pleases them or not (I know they are giving me a resounding “thanks alot!” right now).  But what about everybody else?  Its with them I think I have been dropping the ball.

Lets take getting dressed for example.  Say I am headed out to a small or medium gathering where I know everyone moderately well.  “What will I wear?  What will they think?  What if I say something stupid?  I hope they like me?  What if I trip and fall in my heels and spill my drink upon everyone in attendance and my dress rips in the process and they all laugh at me?”  In summary, “Me me me me me me.  Me me me me!  Me me me me me me.”  Pleasing them.  Giving them the just best put on version of me so that I will be a pleasing presence.

What if I instead dressed a little bit down so that they could shine instead of me?  What if I was able to take my focus off of getting some type of personal praise or accolades and onto focusing on what their needs might be?  What if I took as much time thinking about how to love them as I do thinking about how to please them?

it does not boast

I don’t know.  I am sure I sound crazy.  But I don’t know, if leaving this life is anything like leaving a job looking back and seeing pleasing gives no sense of accomplishment.  Taking these last couple of weeks to appreciate the people God placed in my path…that feels much better.

What do I think that looks like?

1.  It means talking about the important life stuff, even when it is uncomfortable.  Even when surface level is more appealing.

2.  It means being more vulnerable.  The “real” me is just as pleasing as the “put on” me, I just feel like I am in more control with the latter.

3.  It means putting patience, kindness, and unselfishness over impressiveness, beauitfulness, and puttogetherness (are those even words?)

It is not Proud
1 Corinthians 13:4

5 thoughts on “People Loving or People Pleasing

  1. Yes, I agree and do the same thing ~ always trying to please other people and putting on a me that I think they will like. It makes me question myself also ~ is my family getting the short end of the stick by getting the real me? I feel more comfortable being me with them ~ I hope they know and like that. Thank you for this devotion and for making me think about this today. God put you in my path for a reason…

  2. I think the “real” you is not the short end of the stick at all…I think it is authentic, sincere, and while (maybe uncomfortable at times) so rewarding that our families love us regardless. After all, I would be so sad if I didn’t get the “real” them! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart Cheryl.

  3. I agree. I think its about what YOU want out of life, not what you think others want you to do. I think we are both at a point right now of realizing what is really important and sometimes our children are the best teachers. Family gets the real you and they love you the most, so it shows the real you is truly valued.

    1. They really are the best teachers aren’t they? Kids help us make the tough decisions and its so worth it. Thanks so much for sharing Nancy, it means so much to me. I love getting to do life with you!

  4. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare
    to see a great blog like this one these days.

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