The word, “significance” seemed to pop from the page. Growing up, I have never felt significant or validated. In fact, for a moment, especially after driving through an old neighborhood before attending my Writer’s Group, I held the word, “significance,” in my mind. We all want validation; some of us more than others. Recognition for work well done, praise from friends, and accolades are wonderful, and yet this can seriously cause problems if we focus only on validation and seek it more aggressively from everyone but God. Then, comes guilt because we have displeased them.
It’s easy to cause guilt when people are not happy with me, or I say ‘no’ to something. I admit that I am a people pleaser. I know where this comes from. Growing up and wanting love and approval doesn’t completely go away even though you have love and approval around you. Friends surround me. I have a great husband. I am loved. But try telling my mind this when someone disagrees with me or someone says something in argument against a decision I make.
It’s born from the desire to prove to everyone that I am not stupid. I am not a failure. I am someone. I am capable. It’s significance. Still, I look for significance everywhere in people and yet struggle to accept that I am significant in Christ Jesus. He made me significant. He loves me. That should be enough, but many times my sinful mind wanders, looking, probing for validation in friendships. That always sends me to unhappy places. I am happiest when I am content in being significant in Christ.
So while I surf the internet, create friendships online and Facebook and Tweet, I remind myself of whom I am in Christ. I remind myself that how people view me is not as important as how Christ views me. Maybe one day I will be a J.K. Rowling or a Carol Cox or a Patti Lacy, but for now I am content in knowing that I am loved by the One who went to the cross for me. No matter where my writing career goes (or doesn’t go) I am where God wants me to be and I am more loved now than ever in my life. I am significant and God validates me.
Describe why you are a people pleaser. What season of life does this bring you to (Fall, Winter, Summer, or Spring)?