What are the mindsets that will trip us up? What kind of foundational thinking plagues many of us, preventing us from being the best version of ourselves? The following thoughts are adapted from Draw Close to the Fire by Terry Wardle and original with Robert McGee in his book, The Search for Significance.
The first false belief is that I must meet certain standards of performance to feel good about myself. In the blog post yesterday, I exposed the lie and applied truth to it from God’s word! This is the second…
I must be approved by certain people to feel good about myself.
Everyone has people in their lives whose opinion matters a great deal. I know there are certainly those people in my life. At one time, I really wanted my mother-in-law’s approval. She is with Jesus now, but when she walked the earth, I attempted to find ways to please her. One year for her birthday, I invited her and some of her friends for dinner. I crafted my menu around foods I knew she enjoyed and even decided to wear a dress in deference to her. I was so pleased with my efforts as I entertained her and the other guests.
The next day, in a random conversation, she told my sister-in-law that all evening she just kept wondering if Amelia Bedelia had gotten ahold of my dress because it was so short. (For those unfamiliar with Amelia Bedelia, she cuts off a dress in one story making it unsuitable to wear.) I was crushed.
Returning home, I talked to Jesus about it and shared how disappointed I was to have my well-intentioned efforts mean nothing to her. In my spirit, I heard him clearly tell me to dress to please him, not others.
For too many years of my life, I wore myself out trying to please others and in the process, lost sight of who I truly am. Fearing rejection if I didn’t please someone, I worked tirelessly to figure out what others expected of me and then I did my best to be just that person. The result was a fragmented, unsatisfied person.
The truth I needed to know is that in Christ, I am fully loved and completely accepted. Jesus’ blood brought me near when I was far away. I needed to know I am dearly loved (Ephesians 3:17-19); reunited with God (1 Corinthians 6:17); secure in him and his love (Romans 8:35); sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13); given direct access to God through prayer (Hebrews 10:22); a member of the Lord’s body (1 Corinthians 12:12-31); owned by the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
No one can take that from me and no one’s approval gives me security like God’s love. If you, too, find you are a people pleaser, rehearse these messages of truth. Find someone you trust and share your struggle, take time to explore the why behind the false belief. Put the opinions of others back where they belong, closer to the bottom shelf. Elevate what God thinks and what he says to the top shelf!