For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
– Galatians 1:10 ESV
About 5 years ago I was living in Chicago, and one day catching the bus with my boyfriend at the time, I shuffled through my purse trying to find my bus pass. This was a time in my life when I was merely tinkering with the idea that there may be a God. I had spent many years claiming agnosticism, but felt a small tug at my heart to do something new. I had been going to a church downtown, and was carrying a Bible in my bag. As I dug for my bus pass, he noticed my Bible. He asked, in a sarcastic manner, ‘Why do you have a Bible?’ Almost laughing.
I remember becoming taken back. I didn’t know how to respond. I was embarrassed. What would he think? Would he like me anymore if I was too religious, or would he think I was a Jesus freak? I stammered over words to reply. ‘Oh, we read a passage at church. I just had it in there from Sunday.’ Seemed like a good cover. Not too committed to Jesus. Wouldn’t be seen as a Jesus freak. Right? Okay good. Totally safe.
That same relationship was one I allowed to open doors leading me away from church, away from the Bible and away from Jesus. One question at the bus stop may seem small, but it represented an entire mindset and lifestyle I was trying to leave. Yet, I allowed it to consume me again.
People pleasing can seem so harmless at times. However, it can also create paths we would have never noticed or considered, which draw us into and keep us in unhealthy relationships and situations. Reclaim your identity, friend! You were made to please one and only one person. God.
Your creator is pleased with how He formed you, so delight in the truth that He created you with a purpose to follow after Him! When others question your life, your choices or the Bible in your purse, remember you are a daughter of God. You are chosen. You are exactly who you are meant to be.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. –Psalm 139:14 (ESV)