I am a reforming people pleaser.
I use to be so worried about what others thought of me and how my interactions with them made them feel. I would leave every conversation replaying my words over in my mind, scanning each of them for offense. “Oh, I shouldn’t have said that.” “ Did that come out right?” Well, that was a dumb thing to say!” “I must of offended them with that statement.” This inner dialogue would consume my mind until my next interaction with someone and then the cycle would start over again. It was crippling and made me fearful of even speaking to people.
Talk about torture!
This is not a pleasant way to live. It’s also not an enjoyable way to do relationships.
Yes. Let’s be kind in our words and guard our tongues. Yes, let’s love others well in both word and deed. However, being so crippled by the fear of pleasing man is no way to live.
Over the years my desire to please people has waned because my desire to please God has become greater. My current mantra that has freed me up is this: “Audience of One.” Everything I do or say goes under that microscope. Does this please my Father? Am I doing this for Him or to please man? This one statement has shifted the way I approach a conversation and has freed me up to love hard, be fully myself, and release others.
This is one of those foundational principals I need my kids to know. Speak, work, perform, dress, eat, play all for the audience of One, the One.
All too soon the world will impress on them and they will start to care what others think of them. I pray that they care more about what God thinks of them then anyone else. I pray they are able to be fully themselves, who God created them to be and not get trapped in the scam of people pleasing.
I will end with this story that illustrates the way I want to live.
My six year old daughter loves fashion. She loves creating and that includes putting outfits together. It brings her joy and comes naturally to her. I believe it is apart of her original design, who God made her to be.
She puts together crazy outfits that sometimes I don’t want to let her leave the house in. I confess I’ve had to force myself from asking her to change because the world has told me its not ok to wear your dress backward. Yes, she has done that!
Instead of crushing her spirit though I encourage her. She is not in a place yet where she wants to please the world. She doesn’t care about fitting it. She feels free to be herself and I love that. And you know what? I believe God loves that too! Seeing His kids fully alive and free must bring Him great joy. He came so we would have life, and have it abundantly and part of that is walking out in freedom in who He designed us to be and not stifling ourselves because we want to please man.
I want to be more like my daughter. Free to be myself. True to my original design and focused on my audience of One. May everything we do and say and wear be for the audience of One.