Have you ever encountered someone who seems to apologize over everything?
I confess that I used to be that person and still am in the sense that I tell others I am sorry when I hear their woes. It isn’t the same ‘I’m sorry’ as an apology, but an ‘I’m sorry you are having such troubles.’ However, I no longer apologize when someone around me is offended by the way I look, the way I talk, or the way I act.
What changed? you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you.
Jesus changed me. He came into my heart and began to change me from the inside out. And one of the first things He did was to change me from a ‘people-pleaser’ to a ‘God-pleaser’. What a difference!
I no longer apologize when my worship gets loud, boisterous or downright explosive! I sing, I dance, I speak in tongues, I interpret, I prophesy and on rare occasions, I become a trumpet proclaiming the presence of the Lord! 🎉🥳🎈👗🪅
Just yesterday my pastor showed a sign that said “Pardon our noise. It’s the sound of freedom.” I’ve adopted that as my tagline. Christ has set me free and I won’t, CAN’T, be quiet about it.
I no longer apologize when someone doesn’t care for my hair-style, clothing, or laugh! I feel distressed for them because they are so easily offended and critical of others — truly a sign of their own internal misery.
When Christ set me free from death and hell He also set me free to be me — whatever form He wants. HINT: He did the same for you.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
None of this means that I go out of my way to offend others. Scripture cautions against that kind of behavior. In fact, I have become more mellow in every area of my life save one: Jesus.
1 Corinthians 8:9 But take care that this freedom of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
Addictions are bondage and people-pleasing is an addiction. Striving to keep the peace and be accepted by everyone, people-pleasers betray their own selves. In an effort to accommodate everyone else’s needs they often undermine their own. They unwittingly sacrifice their very self to avoid the conflict caused by asserting their needs and desires.
Please don’t confuse people-pleasing with someone who is gifted in the area of service. The needs and desires of a truely gifted servant of the Lord is to serve. They don’t minimize their own self-worth and they derive great satisfaction in serving others. A people-pleaser is often someone with low self-esteem and low self-worth. True servants do not suffer from those traits. As Psychology Today states: “One of the most self-betraying traps of people-pleasing is the separation from one’s genuine sense of self. When someone is subservient to the needs and goals of others it reinforces a sense that their own needs aren’t worthy.”
Quoting from the Spiritual Gifts Project: “The spiritual gift of Servanthood is the engine that moves the body and “thank you” is the fuel. Truly the heart of a servant puts the needs of the body and others in front of their own, and they find great happiness and a feeling of love by doing this work. These are the people that are always first to raise their hand when a project or challenge comes their way. They are not introverts and seek to be with groups in performing their work. Appreciation and seeing the results of their work is key to their involvement.”
So I have provided all of that information as part of explaining that I have moved out of the realm of people-pleasing and into the realm of God-pleasing. And what pleases God? It’s no mystery. He tells us:
Psalm 150 1Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
Colossians 3:20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
There are dozens of other Scripture verses that tell us what pleases God. Let me encourage you. These are not
RULES AND REGULATIONS 👮🏼♂️🚓👮♀️👮🏿♀️🚨🚔 for us to follow. Jesus came to set us free, not put us in MORE bondage. These verses are guidance for those who love the Lord and want, as any good wife wants, to please the object of their affection. He tells us how to please Him and it’s up to us if we want to do so or not. As for me………. 😁
Joshua 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
I will serve the Lord in whatever form He desires, without apology. May you experience the same freedom.