This is my first “real” blog post since I have moved to this public blog. Before, when my blog was private and only read by people I knew, I wrote a lot more from the heart. Once I decided to switch my blog to a public format, I have frozen up. Sure I don’t mind sharing DIY tips or our vacation itineraries. But really writing how I feel about things like I used to do has become incredibly scary. So scary I have been paralyzed. I will think of something I want to write about and immediately start to worry if someone will take it the wrong way or if someone won’t like it.
I have always struggled with people pleasing and thought it would get better as I got older, but somehow lately it’s become worse. I used to think that once I had a husband and wasn’t worrying about the dating scene things would be much easier. I also thought I wouldn’t struggle with it as much if I was no longer in school or working and therefore not having to “prove” myself to my classmates/professors or co-workers/bosses.
But now that I am married and staying home with my girls, it’s still a struggle. Now instead of worrying about what a certain guy will think of me, I worry what that mom will think of me when she sees me hand my kid a non-organic snack. Or what my friend will think of me when she comes to visit my home knowing hers is worth 3 times mine. See, if you struggle with a sin and you don’t deal with the heart issue, it will never go away. It will just change with you as you go, causing a struggle no matter your life stage.
Knowing someone doesn’t like me kills me. And whenever someone is mad at me, my mind always goes to “what did I do wrong?” I never consider the possibility that maybe they’re wrong or struggling with something and taking it out on me. That may sound noble, but it’s really not. It leads to very wrong thinking. I always assume I’ve done something wrong to the person, and therefore I’ve done something wrong to God. So when someone is not pleased with me, my mind always makes the leap to – “I’ve failed God.” Because of that, I have been operating out of this mentality that says to please God, I must please all people all the time. The problem with that is the Bible.
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2:4-6, “On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority.” (emphasis mine)
And also in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Wow. He goes as far as to say if I am trying to please people, I am NOT a servant of Christ. Ouch.
Even Jesus said, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)
Coming to the realization that people disliking me is NORMAL and actually to be expected, not a sign that I am sinning against God, has been incredibly freeing for me. So freeing that I am writing this blog post.
I love writing. I want to share my heart, but I have become so scared to let anyone in past surface level that I have shut down. My fear of people has led me to not move forward with what I feel God is calling me to do – to write. So this is my first feeble attempt to push through. Feel free to call me out if I continue not writing, but don’t make me think you don’t like me 😉 (kidding of course)
*I feel like I should add a disclaimer here and say that if you ARE sinning, and people are mad at you because of that, then yeah you’re in the wrong and have done something against God. What I’m talking about here is not doing anything wrong, but people just not liking you for whatever reason (and with the Internet the way it is these days, people find a WHOLE LOT of ridiculous reasons not to like other people).*