This is Bloom in Journey right? A place where I said I wanted to be transparent and where others can glean, share and support each other… That is the ultimate goal. So along my journey I am compelled to share my experiences. Whether they are triumphant or disastrous. Let’s start from the beginning:
Heads up…. Long POST!
Hi my name is Nadesha and I am a people pleaser. I struggle to live above “people’s expectation of me” and spend a good amount of time thinking about what people might think of me. These people can be strangers, friends, foe or family. I don’t quiet remember when I realized that I was a people pleaser but thanks be to God He revealed it to me.
I would go through long periods of time where I would be free and all of a sudden I’m back to square one. So in reality, that isn’t freedom at all. As you’ve read from my past posts these weeks I’ve been pretty vulnerable so I think that’s why I was re-entangled… Re-entangled because I was fighting the expectations I thought other’s had of me, while struggling to be rational. What I’ve learned is that being in bondage to people will make you loose every ounce of common sense you have. If a person continues to let people drive their behavior they will never be free. Not only that, they will never be able to be themselves. They’ll be confused if who they are is for them or to gratify others. It’s like you have two minds: what you know is true and what you think other’s think of you. I’m not sure if you can relate but this can be pretty agonizing.
When I think about it all I can say is “Nadesha girl, why does the perception of other’s trouble you so much. You know that you can’t please everyone.” So I know the truth and I know I should only seek to please God because it is only then I can truly serve people. If we worship the creature instead of the creator, we will never be free and will be participating in idol worship. People pleasing is idol worship. I’m speaking to myself right here: If you are in bondage to people how can you be Christ’s bondservant? Now, I’m speaking to you: If YOU are in bondage to people how can you be Christ’s bondservant? They say the first step in recovery is acknowledging that you have a problem, that’s why I began with that acknowledgement.
However, sometimes we can acknowledge that we have a problem but we don’t necessarily see why “our problem is destructive”. But when I tell you about my Father, My Daddy, He knows just how to correct you and show you what will happen if you continue down your destructive path. So… because sharing is caring, I will share (lol)… What He shows me is for me and for others. I’m sure there are many other people who are struggling with people bondage. Okay so I’ll start with a story.
A long time ago there was a nation, Israel, that was in slavery for over 400 years. Their God, Yahweh, led them out of Egypt into a land that was promised to their ancestors. In order to dwell in the land, they needed to defeat the nations that lived there. Eventually, they conquered the nations living in the land. Nonetheless there were still some nations that would torment and attack them. The people cried out for a king. They wanted to be like other nations, not realizing that they had the greatest King, God Himself. Yet God said okay I’ll give you a king. We are introduced to a tall and handsome guy who happens to be looking for his father’s donkeys. But low and behold the donkeys were no where to be found. They go to see Samuel, the seer(prophet), to ask about the donkey’s whereabouts. This guy goes to see Samuel and Samuel immediately tells him that he is to be Israel’s king. WOW! But instead of a jubilant response this man says “why would you say such a thing to me, I am nothing and my family is nothing. My family is the smallest amongst the clan of Benjamites.” Let’s just pause for one second right there: God has chosen this man to be king over His possession, Israel, yet what he says is basically no God you don’t know what you are talking about I’m nothing. First red flag. Let’s continue, he accepts the appointment. Let’s fast forward to his deeds as king: he creates an army, he conquers some nations and prophecies. But along the way he forgets that God appointed him as king and begins to act as though the people are king over him. If you haven’t realized it yet the king I am referring to is King Saul. The King that didn’t think enough of himself for the throne, but allowed the opinions of the people to dictate his actions .
This is the legacy of his Kingship
- Saul offered the burnt and peace offerings to the Lord- an act that was only to be performed by the the priest ( Samuel at the time). When confronted with his mistakes, his justification was that the people were scattering away from him.
- God told Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites. Instead he captured the king and the people kept the best of the sheep, oxen and other animals. God tells Samuel “ I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following Me ( 1 Sam 15:10)”. Once again Saul’s justification was that the people took the animals. Saul was the king yet he didn’t instruct the people according to God’s command. Why?
- Samuel tells Saul that God has torn the kingdom from him and has given it to someone else. Saul admits that he has sinned but then asks Samuel to honor him before the elders of Israel. Once again, Saul shows us that he has more concern for what “the people” thought of him than the fact that God had rejected him.
- Here comes David: He plays the harp for Saul to calm the tormenting spirits, defeats Goliath and becomes a mighty warrior. All the while being loyal to Saul ( even though David has been anointed king). After returning from a battle the people sand “ Saul has killed thousands and David ten thousands”. Instead of Saul being proud of his loyal warrior he becomes jealous and his heart turns against David. This leads Saul to attempting to kill David for a number of years- with no justification ( 1 Samuel 9-19)
There it is the progression of Saul’s legacy of people pleasing instead of God pleasing. I wanted to highlight Saul’s appointment as king because his belief about himself set the tone for his reign. He didn’t see himself worthy enough for the title; hence, that self perception dictated the choices he made. It’s obvious that God saw something in Saul finding pleasure in him or else he wouldn’t have made him king. It’s unfortunate that Saul didn’t see it in himself.
If our self-perception is not aligned with how God sees us, our path leads to destructive behavior instead of instructive behavior. We will never be able to see God with the appropriate perspective because we are unable to see Him that prevents us from truly see ourselves. When we when have a low perception of ourselves we are telling God that we are not fearfully and wonderfully made. As a result, everything that happens to us we think it’s for our destruction instead of seeing it as a mode for instruction and development. I mentioned a couple of instances where Saul did things because he was afraid of the people. Man, I CAN definitely relate to doing something even when I knew it was wrong. But I did it because of what other’s might have think of me. For me it was compromising my convictions not wanting to appear holier than though. This is one of the things the Lord has freed me from, Thank God; But there are still times when the thought comes but I have to remind myself of who I am loyal to– God not man.
The instance that really broke my heart for Saul was when God tore the kingdom away from him. At the first occurrence of disobedience, Samuel told Saul that his kingdom would not endure. But after the continuous disobedience the kingdom is ripped from his hand. Have you ever given someone something and then rip if from their hand. Close your eyes and picture it…
What digs even deeper is that Saul didn’t grasp the weight of Samuel’s word .Instead, he settled for the façade of God’s acceptance before the people. There was no heartbreaking repentance, contrition or throwing himself down in shame. He said “ I have sinned: but please honor me before the elders of the people( 1 Sam 15:30)”. Needless to say this reveals Saul’s heart. I know this might sound like I am bashing Saul but what God began showing me is that if I allow other’s opinion to define me and dictate my actions that I will be like Saul: Chosen by God but in such bondage to the opinions of people that I NEVER see what He sees in me and will never do what He’s called me to do. I will always feel slighted and threatened. Like Saul I will see my David as a threat instead of an asset. I will see the one who was there using their gifts to bless me as competition instead of a companion.
If we continue in people bondage: What is meant for us will be torn away from us and given to someone else who is in bondage to God. The greatest thing we can do for God is to be obedient to His voice and allow His precepts to guide our behaviors. I hope that you see my transparency along with the heart of our Father in this post! We were never created to worship each other but we are created to worship God which in turn helps us to lovingly serve others. We won’t be able to place other’s needs before our own if we are in bondage to people because all of our actions are motivated by what we can gain instead of how they can be blessed. So if you are like me and have found yourself falling back into people worship I PRAY THAT JUST AS THESE WORDS HAVE BEGUN MY HEALING AND FREEDOM PROCESS so it will COMMENCE YOURS. One last thought, Jesus could have never gone about His Father’s business if He wasn’t secure in Who He is, What He was called for and Who He worshipped. Jesus was not concerned about other people’s opinion’s; We know this for a fact because He remained on the cross while other’s mocked Him. They humiliated Him and used their words to jest that ” if He was the Son of God He would save Himself”. But Jesus understood that His purpose was greater than opinions and approval.Instead of saving Himself, He yielded and laid down His life to the point of death! We have to break free of the need for the approval. Seeking people’s approval distracts us from being approved by God.
I’ll leave you with this scripture that shows us just how weighty disobedience is because that’s what people pleasing is.
Then Samuel said, Do you think all God wants are sacrifices— empty rituals just for show? He wants you to listen to him! Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production. Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to God ’s command, he says No to your kingship.’
1 Samuel 15:22-23 MSG
‘because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. ‘ROMANS 1:25 AMP
‘Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. ‘GALATIANS 1:10 NASB
‘But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel [that tells the good news of salvation through faith in Christ], so we speak, not as [if we were trying] to please people [to gain power and popularity], but to please God who examines our hearts [expecting our best]. ‘1 THESSALONIANS 2:4 AMP