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Thoughts on People Pleasing


Seeking people’s approval to validate myself is very much like swimming in a rough ocean.  I am constantly wondering where the solid ground of self-affirmation is.  And right next to me is a fortress on a strong island made of rock and Jesus is beckoning me to safer terrain.  But instead I see another person in a raft.  Perhaps it is a family member, friend, my husband or even one of my kids.

I swim to them instead.

I do the right things and they welcome me on their little raft (that is also being thrown about in the roughness) and I feel secure.  But then I disappoint them, and I either jump off the raft myself in shame or am thrown overboard, back into the unstable water.

I swim pitifully next to the vessel waiting for an invitation back on board.

All the while my Jesus is beckoning me from the strong island, “Come to Me instead! I am the solid ground you seek!  On it there is everlasting acceptance and love, grace for your mistakes and faith to keep you steady here and not seeking the flimsy rafts of mere humans.”

Oh Jesus, help me to see that You are always my best option.  Help me to feel the exhaustion of trying to please others before You.  Give me strength to swim to that island and rope me back in when I foolishly jump back into the rough waters You never called me to.

The unsafe waters of living for the approval of others.

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