Let God be the one who calls the shots in your life. Karen Ehman knows firsthand how people-pleasing locks us in a prison, trapping us in unhealthy habits which distract us from our true selves and our God-given purpose. Explore why we fall into people-pleasing behaviors, which is nothing more than putting people in the place of God. Because the truth is, we cannot fulfill our divine purpose if we’re too busy living everyone else’s.
People pleasing brings such detriment to our lives. We make ourselves miserable. We lie. We create more work for ourselves—both physical and emotional work. We lose grasp of our joy. We offer a standing invitation to regret. This is all so profoundly discouraging. But do you know what is the absolute worst of all? When we behave this way, we are putting people in the place of God.
Many of us people-please due to our personality makeup. However, sometimes the “disease to please” rears its annoying head because we get to a place where we allow others to fill a role in our lives they were never meant to occupy. We need to stop placing people in the place of God, and seek to obey him instead of humans.
When we are trying to defuse conflict before it starts, we sometimes panic. We say things we really don’t mean, all in an effort to keep things at an even keel. What if instead, we prayerfully, thoughtfully, and carefully chose our words, being totally truthful but in a way that shows our sincerity and does not lead to conflict.
People assume you are tethered to your phone. They expect you to instantly respond to any messages they might send you, whether by text or otherwise. People can attempt to place tasks on our plates before getting any approval from us. Remind yourself that every need is not necessarily your call. You can say yes to a friendship without needing to always say yes to their requests.
When we repeatedly give in to the wishes of others—without ever sharing our true feelings or standing up for ourselves—we teach them how to treat us, paving the way for their future bad behavior. Often we go along to get along, being overly nice simply to avoid mental stress. However, being extremely nice may cause us greater mental stress in the future than being firm in the present moment.
When we allow other people to determine the schedule we keep, we fail to honor God with the time that we have. Our pride makes us prioritize certain things to maintain our reputation of being capable, competent, or compassionate. If we aren’t careful, our behavior can border on idolatry. We are worshiping an image—our own!