We’ve all been afflicted by this contagious disease.
Ever since I was a little girl, I had a knack for numbers and a knack for talking…
out of turn most of the time. People were often impressed by how much I knew so the more they were impressed, the more I kept talking. I loved the attention. I loved the affirmation until I realized that it held me hostage from living my life. Honestly, I wanted people to like me.
The disease to please ensured that the word “no” was nowhere to be found in my personal vocabulary. I bent over backward to ensure others were accommodated at the expense of my time, relationships, health, and peace of mind.
I allowed people’s opinions to compromise my integrity because I found myself saying ‘yes’ when I really meant ‘no’. I realized that there were times I missed God’s leading because my ears were pinned to loud uttering of the opinionated than the gentle whispers that He spoke throughout the day.
When I turned 30, I resolved that I would no longer live my life to please others but to honor GOD and my family in my decisions. It was the only way I could ensure that I gave my best yes. I am grateful for a husband that does not pressure me into things I do not want to do and gives me the option of saying no even when it comes to church and ministry. This has been the most freeing. I am so grateful for this.
Always saying yes, forces you to live out another’s blueprint apart from the one God has purposed for you. It’s a miserable and unfulfilled life trying to lead a life that pleases fickle and confused hearts.
People may become agitated and annoyed by your no’s, but a mature and balanced individual is able to discern whether the rejection is targeted to the request or the person who asks. If it is the latter, there is a deeper issue – one that I will address in a later blog.
There are a few questions that I ask myself before I make commitments:
- Who benefits?
- Will I complain while doing this?
- Do I really want to do this?
- What are their motives?
- What are my motives?
- Am I trying to prove anything by saying yes?
- Is this the best use of my resources?
- Am I this most competent option to complete this task?
- Am I compromising my integrity?
- Am I lying?
- Am I being fair?
- Am I balanced in my thoughts?
- How will this affect me emotionally?
- Will this cause me distress?
- Is this a life or death situation?
- Will the purpose of the ask still be accomplished if I did not participate?
- Is there a better alternative instead of me?
- Have they exhausted all their options?
- Is this constructive criticism or manipulation?
- Is their request or my response laced with greed, pride, or jealousy?
- Will I be ok if not acknowledged for my work?
- Is God glorified?
I recommend that you take time to answer these questions. You will be happy that you did and your family will be too.
The disease to please adversely infects the heart and can only be combated through right perspective of God and self. God does not need us to accomplish His purposes throughout the earth but has chosen to use us. Despite what many may think, you are not a savior. Life will go on without you.
We do however desperately need Him to live with purpose. One of the keys to a purpose-filled life is NOT doing all the things, but doing the few things that God has placed before you WELL. Saying yes to everything squanders our Best Yes to the right thing.
You my friend cannot be all things to all people. The only one well qualified for the job is GOD.
Let God do His job and you do yours.