Archive for October, 2011

The Deadly Disease.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20, 2011 by Eric Lapata

People-pleasing.

A disease that has become so common in human beings that people do not even know they’ve contracted it. It begins to creep in, slowly taking over one’s mind and heart, and eventually, their individuality and uniqueness is snatched from them. It makes them do things they wouldn’t normally do, say things they wouldn’t normally say, and become someone who they never thought they would become. The disease, if not identified and dealt with, becomes deadly.

I’ve reflected on this idea of people-pleasing lately and have even seen a pattern in my own life. Too often I sell out to people’s acceptance of me to somehow garner a deep sense of value that my soul longs for.  I have come to believe and accept the lie that if a certain person likes me, or a group of people accept me, then somehow I will have worth. Yet, in the process of pleasing everyone I’ve realized a hard lesson: In striving to gain people’s approval, I lose sight of myself and God’s acceptance of me.

Do I think that it is wrong to desire to be loved and accepted by people? Absolutely not! I believe God surrounds us with people to shower us with encouragement and love. I know that I have been shaped by people around me. However, what I believe happens is that we become addicted to the approval of others and thus becomes the means to our self-worth. It’s that addiction of approval that lead us down a path that makes us into people that we never thought we would be. It enslaves us and makes us something that we are not. And, most importantly,it takes our focus off of The One that can only give us the acceptance that our lives truly desire.

If you find yourself striving for the approval of people, this may be a good time to reflect  and ask yourself a few simple questions.
1. Are there things in my life that I say or do only because I think I will be accepted for it?
2. If someone hurts me, do I not voice my opinion because I’m afraid that person won’t like me? 
3. If that person or group of people do not accept me, does it change my self-worth?
4. Have I become someone that I’m not simply because I desire to be liked?

If you have said yes to one or more of those questions, let me encourage you with a final thought. For those who long for “soul approval”, that is discovering God’s acceptance for your life, it does not come because you’re a good person. Nor does it come by doing the “right thing” or impressing Him. There are not enough good things we can do to have the approval of a Holy and Perfect God.

God’s approval for us comes in the form of Jesus. God sees us as His children BECAUSE of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. God pours out His acceptance for us as a free gift; all we have to do is receive and accept it. And in the end, when we rest in God’s approval for our lives, our relationships with others function in a healthy and appropriate way.

Remember: Though the disease may be unhealthy and sometimes deadly, The Cure is better than our souls can begin to comprehend!