The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Are You a Pleaser?

Most of my life I was always a pleaser, mostly a pleaser to my self. I thought I was actually pleasing people and I was the one of the biggest people pleasers that ever lived. You see, I didn’t like myself very much and so I thought if I could please everyone they would like me and say nice things to me. That would be a nice fix for a short time, but as time went on I needed more. However, if I didn’t get the praise I would become angry. I used to lie to others and mostly myself saying, “I just like to give to people or I like to do what I can to bring a smile to a person’s face.” The worst thing was I actually believed this.

Around seven years ago I came to face this reality at LEBC. The giver/taker test was a real eye opener for me. All of this pleasing I had done earlier in my life lead me straight to depression. When I realized that I gave to receive appreciation or approval. I was giving for all the wrong reasons. Now when I hear someone make that same statement, “I just like to make people happy,” I immediately know where they are. If you want to test yourself to find out if you really like to give. All you have to do is give anonymously. If you can give without anyone knowing or without hints or clues, then maybe you are a giver. There was no way I could do this because I wanted kudos. Many say they like to give because it makes them feel good. That definitely is selfish.

Did I not love myself? Of course I did! I loved myself so much I thought everyone should think I was special. If I didn’t love myself then I would have relished rejection. I just didn’t like myself.

Over the last few years of growth I’ve learned to not be a people pleaser. In fact, I sometimes feel I’ve gone to the other extreme. I came to believe if I did something to please someone I was wrong. I even thought that I shouldn’t even try to please God because I thought that was wrong.

Then I realized something about pleasing and giving that has helped me a lot. It’s simply
the difference of having to please someone or God instead of wanting to please them. Not for my sake, but only for theirs. If I try to please my wife because it’s my job or I have to, then it’s not real. However, when I do it because I want to or out of love then it’s real. The same goes for pleasing God. If I do it only because I have to or to look good then I’m wrong. “The great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God's authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that's the agenda for rejoicing." Luke 10:20

I know that people will always try to look good in front of other people so they will have a good image of them. So many times this goes too far and we seek to please others more than God. Injustices are done, the truth is hidden and it’s all for such a small reward. “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

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