One of the things I struggled with in the last couple of years was pleasing people vs pleasing God.
The internal struggle was always, ‘do I do what others are telling me to do and look good in their eyes or do I follow the leading of God and have peace knowing I am being obedient to Him?’
It was hard because what people offered was tangible advice that most times made sense while on the other hand God’s instruction(s) often led me to do things that made me look like an idiot in the eyes of people (just keeping it real).
Sometime last year I sat in the parking lot at my office and expressed the tension I felt to one of my best friends Natassia Wright regarding one of my pursuits.
Deep down I felt I did not have God’s approval and knowing that made my heart sink.
It didn’t help that everywhere I turned I was hearing messages about disobedience.
At the same time, everyone was happy for me. I looked good, like I was heading in a promising direction.
What they didn’t know was that I was so uneasy on the inside.
As I spoke to Natassia about it, she turned and asked me, “which one feels worse, disappointing people or disappointing God?”
That question went to the pit of my belly and the answer rose from it quickly.
Disappointing God felt way worse! And it was the very thing that I was experiencing.
Some months later I withdrew from the thing I was pursuing. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It was especially difficult to announce to those who thought it was one of the greatest things that could ever happen to me that I was walking away.
After the announcement, I walked around feeling stupid. I wondered what everyone was thinking about me. I even felt annoyed at God for having me give up soooo much including so many things that seemed good for me.
I just couldn’t understand.
After a while I didn’t feel so foolish and I had to stop caring about what people thought. I just let it go and sort of surrendered, and a sense of peace filled the place where the feeling of uneasiness once existed.
In just a few months after God led me pursue another opportunity that will soon take me on another path.
I look at it now and see that had I continued with the previous pursuit I would not have had the time or the freedom to walk through this open door. I probably would not have even seen it and how could it even come my way when my life would not be open to receive it?
Everything was a lesson for me, though I did not look at it that way at the time. It was yet another lesson to trust God in everything and with everything. I also realized that it is better to look foolish in the eyes of people and follow God’s will than to be pleasing in their sight and know deep down that you are not doing what God wants you to do.
Below Natassia Wright shares a bit of her own experience with people pleasing and tells just how she was able to overcome it.