I’m studying Exodus. Moses was a reluctant spokesman for God to the pharoah of Egypt. I suspect he may have started out as a people pleaser, as opposed to a God pleaser. I have been called a people pleaser, by others and by my inner voice, Weezer, who is a … bitch.
I have this issue. Here it is. God created us to need each other, to be relational. We need to give and receive love. So when does that become people pleasing?
First, I looked up what a people pleaser does. This is adapted from Psychology Today.
- we disobey what God says, or our own moral code, to please a person
- we never evaluate the availability of our time or inclination before we say yes
- we’re unable to manage our health because we’re overcommitted to others
- we make all the plans
- we do all this because we live in anxiety from early relationships, and that causes fear of failure or rejection
So, I hit that list on all five points. Great, what do I do? Hebrews 11:27 says this about Moses: “By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing Him Who is invisible.” He kept checking in with God, again and again and again. And as he did, he became a God pleaser instead of a people pleaser.
So I made a longer list of how I can do this in practicality. Here you go:
- Put time with God early in my day
- Track my food
- Exercise before I start my “to do” list
- Speak up for myself, and remember, the outcome of speaking up is not the issue
- Attend events less frequently and use the time to recharge
- Identify one responsibility I can cancel to gain free time for myself
- Teach people how to behave toward me by rejecting behavior I don’t want
- Say no to something small
- Express my opinion and learn from people who disagree
So there you go. Next is, practice, practice, practice. And tell your Weezer to shut the hell up.
As we come to Veteran’s Day next week, I’m thinking of those who sacrifice for the United States. I’m not a veteran. But I know some. My husband, Vietnam; my dad, WWII. Neither speak/spoke of war unless pressed. My Air Force grandsons will be veterans, one day.
I even wrote a book about the experience of a veteran, at his request, when he could see his end was near. My father-in-law, who spent most of WWII as a prisoner of war of the Japanese, rarely had anything to say about his time in the Army. Only the radiation burn on his cheek told us he’d been near Hiroshima and Nagasaki when we dropped the bombs on them. We knew he had shrapnel in his spine and wore compression stockings to help the pain in his legs that resulted from having them frozen. That about covered it as far as he was concerned, even for his own children.
But as he talked with the staff at the veteran’s hospital he visited more frequently as he aged, they pressed him to write his story. He did me the great honor of helping him bring it to light. He called it Triumphs and Tragedies, Corregidor and Its Aftermath. It’s available on Amazon, Arthur B. Baker and J. Carlile Baker authors. Please buy the one you get from me. I can’t believe some others are asking over $100 a copy because it’s out of print. I’ll be happy to send you one for the $10 he initially asked. Dad has gone on to live with Jesus, but he showed me what a hero looks like and does before he left. And I am blessed.
The title may seem to allude to teenagers and steamed up windows, but nope.
This one is about taking the back seat. The older I grow, the more I notice I’m taking a back seat to my children and grandchildren. It’s become their day. At first, that kind of bothered me. I like to be in the middle of the action, you see.
However, if the last shall be first … back seat, see? But more to the point, in the back seat I can serve in a million ways. A. I have more time, what with not paying attention to the road so much; B. I’ve been down this road, so I can point out the potholes as well as the scenic vistas; C. I can refuse to backseat drive; D. I can snitch snacks from the sack on the floor (say what?); E. I can play with the kids who are also relegated to the backseat, and throw in a little tutorial storytelling; F. I can climb up on the rear window ledge with the dog, sing about the moon, and watch the rising and falling electrical lines like I used to when I was a kid; (Some would say my singing isn’t serving, I’m okay with that.) G. I can make cool stuff back here, like mysteries and mittens; H. I can fix stuff that broke, like headless dolls or zippers that don’t zip. I could go on, but I think the joy is already showing. There’s plenty of action in the back seat. (Get your head out of the gutter.)