Christians are not exempt from feeling stressed; we also try to practice life’s circus acts, trapeze, fire eating, plate spinning and juggling. We dare not stop for all will come crashing down.
Consciously and unconsciously we try to please people, we love to be thought well of by our friends, family, employers, employees, church friends and even still by our parents.
We have internal ‘Drivers’-
Why are we kinder, more patient and forgiving to other people but not ourselves?
It can feel scary when you begin to set boundaries around yourself, especially if you need approval from others for your own self-esteem.
Jesus set boundaries; and he only did what His Father told Him to do.
Luke 6v.26 says ‘woe to you when all men speak well of you’,
If we seek affirmation from others, we will be under pressure and not be able to be ourselves.
We won’t go far wrong if we look for God’s praise and not man’s and you already have God’s approval!
What Can We Do?
Examine your ‘people pleasing behaviour’. Just how much do you need approval?
Practice saying ‘NO’ to unreasonable demands.
Not everyone will like you; and that’s just tough!
Be your own best friend.
Be honest in communication.
Allow yourself to change your mind.
You do not have to justify your decisions.
Do not be controlled by other people’s moods and opinions.
You don’t always have to be ‘nice’.
Reclaim your identity.
It takes time to become more assertive, so keep practicing. When you change, you’ll find people around you will change. You may have to warn your family and friends (the ones you want to keep) that you are trying out new behaviours.
When we fly we are told to put on our oxygen mask first before we help others, we’d be no good at all to others if first we don’t practice self-care.
Isaiah 30 ‘In quietness and confidence…’
Ps. 37 ‘Trust in the Lord…’
Ps.139 v.13-16 ‘For you created my inmost being..’
You can now do what your parents told you not to do!