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
I am a people pleaser. I never intended to be, it just happened somehow. Yet, I am a controller. How can I be both? How do I shape my life around what others think and still control the situation to make it go my way?
I'm not sure how they fit hand in hand, but I know that it makes me miserable. I get great ideas or feel lead to do this or that while wondering what everyone else will say throughout the whole thing. Many times, it makes me not ever do what I felt needed to be done. Or it holds me back for fear of what others will think.
I think by being controlling, I can assure that my life is pleasing to others. I can rearrange or do what I need to do so that my choices, even Christ-led ones, are readily accepted by others.
This becomes so hard when you are trying to relinquish control. It means that you just do what you are feeling you need to do and not worrying about what others say. Easier said than done.
This verse makes it very clear that you can't please men and Christ.
"Simply put, when we think of other people as our center and fulfillment, we live frustrated lives" ~ Mary DeMuth
I live this frustrated life. I feel that my house is never clean enough, my homeschool is never long enough, my kids don't learn enough, I don't workout enough, I don't cook healthy enough meals...on and on and on....
My control over my life is to please the wrong people. My feeling of being less-than is squashing my ability to just move on toward the goals Christ has set for me and do so knowing that He will be there to pave the way. He will be there to give me strength when the masses disagree. He is the one that I should be striving to please.
I can't please everyone. What other people think of my life will never bring me satisfaction. There will always be someone that doesn't think my kids are in the right place, my weight isn't quite right, my blog ideas and convictions are off, I'm following my hubby down a dead end path...on and on and on.....
The good news is that it doesn't matter. I'm not living for this earth. My thoughts and actions need to be focused on the eternal...not things of this life.
This culture is so focused on things. This focus brings them to care about the perfect house, the perfect clothes, the latest technology, the best education, the most money, etc.
I have come to not care about those things. Sure, it's nice to have some of those things, but it's not the be all end all to me anymore. And that effects the way I live my life. I don't care about the material things. I don't care if my kids are in pajamas all day. I don't care if my house isn't spotless. I don't care if my kids meet every standard that the worldly government sets for them. But by deciding that these things will not dictate my life, some people have expressed their disapproval.
That used to be a deal breaker for me. I was looking for approval to justify my life. I was just a homemaker. I was just a mom. I was just not good enough.
I realized that my life was anything but content. However, I wasn't content because I was living my life through a worldly view. I was living my life through what others thought I should do or have (or not have).
My view of control over my life has changed. I don't manipulate the situation so that I look good on all fronts now. I know that I can't please everyone. I strive now to only please Christ. It doesn't matter what others think if I am confident that I am following Christ's leading.
That realization has made me a much more content person. I am happy with where I am in my life. I'm happy with my family. I can just look the other way without too much emotional trauma if someone doesn't agree with me. They are welcome to their opinion, but I am okay now with just looking the other way.
I have to answer for my choices, not them. It's okay if they disagree with me.
I have found that this is the only way to true contentment. Other people can't fill you. Their approval can't make your life complete. Follow Christ's leading and your life will be exactly where it needs to be and you will be content.
Exercise control over the things that are eternally important and let things go that don't matter.
Linked to: Walking Redeemed,