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Monday, November 5, 2007

confessions of a people pleaser

Hello. My name is Robby, and I'm a people pleaser.

This is the simple realization that I've come to in recent months; or perhaps it is only in the past few months that I have been willing to admit it to myself.

I don't fully know the implications of this realization, nor do I know the extent of this tendency in my life. What I do know is that this tendency (or is it a desire) is fairly far reaching. I know that I am no longer willing to accept it as a given in my life. I also know that I should spend far more time, far more energy, and far more attention on trying to please my Lord and Savior, then on the people around me.

As I am writing this, I have been looking for a verse to include that speaks to this issue: partially to give me a proper Biblical perspective on the issue, and partially to seem wise to any who read this (will anyone read this?). Of course, that second reason illustrates perfectly the need for the title of my Blog, "an attempt at authenticity," and the title of this post. As I looked for a verse, I felt certain there was something in the Bible that addressed my situation, although I wasn't even sure. Without a idea of where to look specifically, I went to the concordance.

Amazingly enough, when I turned to one of the verses it was already underlined. Apparently, the verse stood out to me at some point in the past, probably because I have been a people pleaser for as long as I can remember.

Galatians 1:10
"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."

Perhaps this verse is why I have felt so confronted by this truth of my life. By attempting to please those around me, I have failed to be a servant of Christ. I do things for my glory, not for His. My paradigm is backwards, skewed, incongruent with who it is that I want to be, who I was made to be.

Even in minimal things like this blog, my perspective has been all wrong. I created this blog nearly two months ago, and yet until tonight have not posted anything. I was too worried about what to write. I wanted to have an amazingly epic blog, with deep insights that others would be compelled to complement me on. What I failed to notice was that this desire was in direct conflict with my very motivation for creating the blog (and thus it's title).

I am a people pleaser. But I'm no longer willing to accept that fact as a truth of my life.

May God help me to seek his pleasure alone!


Anonymous said...

Good for people to know.

Angela Hoover said...

Encouraging to hear, from a fellow people-pleaser. God has caused the scales to fall from my eyes just a few weeks ago...when I went to look up the verse, I found I had underlined it in the past too...!

Robby Larson said...

Angela - Thanks for sharing your story. This issue has such a sneaky way of encroaching in our lives. Whether it was our upbringing or perhaps societal expectations, it is so easy to fall into the trap of trying to make others happy. And often this happens out of what I (we?) articulate as pure motives, when in fact it has more to do with my own acceptance of who God uniquely created me to be.

We have to continue to seek the only approval that truly matters. I hope that your journey continues to be fruitful!

Caitlin said...

Welcome to the blog world.

As a writer, it's hard to balance the fine line of just how much of your soul do you expose. One of my friends brought it to my attention that I don't like to portray anything in my life in a negative life. I sat stunned when I read that. He pointed out that I fear that people won't offer the same grace and other Christians specifically.

Hard words to hear. I do run my own PR. I'm building brand. I don't think that's a negative thing.

But it can be when I'm only as deep as spit. When I'm not connecting with people. When I'm not letting them be Christ in my life.

So keep on. :)

Robby Larson said...

Thanks for sharing, Caitlin.

Just to know this was actually the first post from my blog. I wrote it almost four years ago...when I was still a twenty-something. (I wanted to meet Ally's criteria when posting.)

I've actually written a bunch more since this first post, and am getting ready to relaunch my blog in the next few weeks with an all new design.

I have found that it is difficult to balance the desire to be authentic with the need to guard myself with what I write. It's a fun challenge, but it really can be difficult.

Know that I really appreciate your encouragement!

Caitlin said...

@Robby - That's awesome and hilarious. Way to keep it 20-something relevant.