“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men. If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
Why are we so eager to impress people? Many of us are so eager to impress others with our friendship, gifts and devotion; we act and behave differently when we are with our family than we do with our friends and those we work with. But are we playing games with ourselves; are we being authentic and sincere when we go out of our way to make a good impression so that everyone thinks we are unique and special? Other peoples opinions matter to us, and we often wonder what others are thinking about us; we have this hunger to be needed and appreciated.
But I wonder…
Are we trying too hard? How real to we keep it? Who are we really trying to impress? Doesn't the bible make it clear that we must seek to impress God alone?
Many people live their lives trying to impress everyone regardless of how stressful it can be or how unhappy it makes them. It’s only natural to try and please others, be accepted, and fit in with the group. We are taught in this life that there are winners and losers, and we want to be a winner at whatever cost. Sometimes I just have to smile in wonder at why some people try so hard to make themselves look good in front of others (not to be judgmental; I have certainly been in that position before!) But really…are we who people think we are, or are we just playing games? Does our need to impress others ever drown out our ability to hear God? He created us all with a purpose in mind, and that might mean that we define success differently than our family and friends, we might have different interests and tastes, or we might even walk down a path that others are not willing to follow. Being authentic means walking in faith and accepting exactly who God made us to be; it’s about being true to ourselves and practice what we believe regardless of what others might think.
“Each one should test his own actions. Then He can take pride in himself without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.” (Galatians 6:4)
Trying to always please everyone can be an emotional trap when we are constantly worried about what we look like, how we behave, or what we have. And haven’t we all realized that there are just some people we just can’t please? It can be exhausting trying to be liked and accepted, always worrying about what others opinions are of us. That’s when the games begin, when we don’t have the courage to allow people to see the real person we are inside. But faith dares us to be who God made us to be, and He Himself has the ultimate say about who we are; we certainly don’t have to go out of our ways to impress anyone else. When we stop worrying about comparing ourselves to others we learn to connect with people by expressing our true self; we learn that there is no need to be someone we’re not. That’s when we can relax, drop everything that is false or untrue, and rejoice in being who God created us to be.
Linking up this week with: