Devotional: Leaving People Pleasing

The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? – Psalm 118:6


My life was in bondage to what everyone needed and wanted me to be. I sought cues from others to tell me what to do. It was their emotions, their behaviors, their needs that drove me. I couldn’t speak or stand up for myself. I was only an extension of other mindsets, there to provide and fix; help and manage the problems and needs of others. I allowed whatever came my way. I accepted that I gave rather than received. I wore love as a martyr, as a badge of sacrifice and suffering. In the process I lost myself. My identity crushed underneath the weight of others.

It wasn’t my plan for compassion to burn me out. But I feared if I didn’t over-perform I would be cast out. I feared people rejecting me. I feared not being loved. I feared being unknown.

But when God exposed His heart to me, I recognized that my understanding of love had been misconstrued. I perceived that the way I functioned was filled with deceit – that my need to please and to fix a product of my broken heart.

Jesus did what no-one else could – He nourished my need for powerful love – for true connection. He accepted me as I am, but gave me what I lacked. I learned my identity and began to be able to think, feel and make choices based on His perspective. I could say say yes when it was appropriate. But I could also say no. I was not bound up by others. If God is for me, who can be against me? When the King is on my side, whom shall I fear?

Meditation Point: Moving Towards Hope

I’m called to be loved, and then to love others with what I myself received. It’s not that God wants me selfish or entitled, but rather that He wants me whole and set apart. I can live with His love driving me. I can be influenced by His ways. I can be who He says I am. I can live a life that pleases Him. I can be okay.

When I Struggle with People Pleasing: 

Father God,
I need to fall to you and be in you, not caught in the cycles of dangerous patterns of approval. I need people, but I need you more. I need you first. Let me be nourished by your heart – let me experience your love first. Break the fear I have in people, and remind me that you acceptance prevails
.In Jesus name – Amen

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