“God is the easiest person to please.” My grandmother told me, in the most proper English with a slight hint of her Canadian accent shining through—each individual word annunciated with firm assuredness—as if each word were a sentence, in and of itself. ”
GOD. IS. THE. EASIEST. PERSON. TO. PLEASE.
The words clung to me and began to untangle so much in me. The words unlaced the tight knot of perfectionism, people-pleasing, and performing. The tie began to tangle as a little girl when I somehow subconsciously cued into the pattern the if I behaved a certain way, if I performed, if I was pleasing to my parents, teachers, friends, and church leaders I would be noticed, well liked, loved. Because this worked with people, I believed this was how it worked with God, times a thousand million. I believed there were strings attached. And so I tangled myself up in them. This knot, I learned, also had to be undone in her.
I assumed “God is the easiest person to please” was her idiom, her own guided gumption. I know she had lived out the lesson; it looks like David did also:
“When someone turns to you, they discover how easy you are to please–so faithful and true!” (Ps. 25:8 TPT)
I turn to these, almost to good to be true, words around in my mind, often.
How hard, I’ve worked for other’s approval, over the years. Intentionally, at times, yet most often on auto-pilot–because once a habit of people-pleasing and “trying to get everything right” begins, it quickly becomes second nature.
There is an underlying mental work of trying to decipher what others want, how they will feel, or be affected. A pre-decision to the actual decision, if you will. And it is exhausting!
Are you tired?
Tired of trying to get it all right?
It’s a bad cycle because when we do, seemingly, get it right–it’s rewarding. It trains us to subconsciously believe it works. The problem, of course, is that it does not work.
No person will be happy with you 100% of the time. You can’t always know what another person is thinking (Umm because we can’t read minds. Even if we feel like we can read faces and feelings, which are not the same as someone’s thinking). And you won’t make a correct decision for yourself or succeed 100% of the time either.
Heres the truth. It’s not about getting it perfect. For others. For yourself. For God.
God does not see things the way we do. He is Omniscient (all-knowing, all-wise, all-seeing).
God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
Do you have a heart that wants to please God? That’s perfect. God called David (who committed both adultery and murder) a man after His own heart.
The Bible tells us that “Our righteousness (our goodness, virtue) is as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)
We cannot do enough good works to please God.
But!!!!! “If Christ is in us then we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21).” Lovely One, this means that when the Father looks at us, He sees Jesus and His righteousness.
YOU ARE PLEASING TO GOD!
Not because of what you’ve done or not done. But because of what Christ did.
I’ve done a lot of untangling in recent years, but God is still working on me. Old habits die hard. When I sense someone is unhappy with me, I’m extremely uncomfortable. I find myself resorting to trying to fix the situation. It takes a conscious interruption to stop working on what “I sense” is wrong, to remind myself that I am not responsible for how everyone else feels, and to realign my thinking with what God says.
My grandma left me we a few other life changing words in her last year. Another golden ticket if you will. A piece to this “pleasing” puzzle:
Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.
I try to do this. Obeying God, above all, is my best. I’m not perfect at it, but He sees my heart. Trying to please others or trying to make sure everyone feels comfortable so that I can feel comfortable doesn’t do anyone any good. I take a a deep breath and remind myself that:
I am loved not because of what I do. I am loved because I am His.
And, then, I carry on.
(A portion of this post is an excerpt from my book La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday. If you’d like to read more you can order your copy here).
PS- This article: 10 Signs that You are a People Pleaser is a great indicator of people-pleasing and at what level. It was a great gauge to see what specific areas I still tend to tangle myself in.
image via Floral Kokoro . . . I’m really digging dried florals at the moment.