I had walked into trouble and didn’t have the confidence to handle it right. My people pleasing ways were always causing me to let someone down, especially myself.
My assignment was to take a group of nurses out to eat to get their feedback for a marketing project. When I arrived, I asked if they were ready to go, but as a new nurse went to retrieve her purse, another nurse told her she wasn’t included. I opened my mouth to say that each of them was invited, but the other nurse in a rush of words reinforced what she said. The young nurse mumbled it was okay and fled. In my confusion, I saw the doctor appear and just as quickly disappear.
The whole tone of the luncheon was tarnished for me. It was my first job out of college, and I was still getting comfortable in my new role. I wanted to be liked, and I wanted to succeed. I thought I needed the popular vote to succeed, but this didn’t feel right.
While I hadn’t been there long myself, I already knew the bossy nurse was the doctor’s favorite. She could talk sweet unless you made a suggestion she didn’t like. No one challenged her. I made it through that assignment, but I regret my lack of backbone. I learned I needed advice on personnel issues, topics my boss would know.
Proverbs 29:25 is true. Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
Since then, my relationship with the Lord has developed and strengthened. I know how the rejected nurse felt because I’ve been on that end. The fear of returning to the invisible, unpopular group has indeed been a snare I have worked hard to overcome with the Lord’s help.
Standing up for the persecuted and surviving the storms, growing in confidence and pouring out my sorrows and regrets to Jesus have been steps in a lifelong process. I want to be strong, but often I am weak. Even when I do stand up to a wrong, which I have continued to improve on, the rejection or angry response I receive still feels personal.
Remembering that each of us is a work in progress and that Jesus understands our hearts is encouraging. Colossians 3:23 reminds me to work as working for the Lord and not people. This helps me to remember that pleasing God is more important than pleasing people. It helps me think of Jesus as my true boss. Just as a boss at work can mentor a new employee, praying to Jesus for strength and answers will strengthen me to do the right thing.
Maybe you also fall into the devil’s snare of people pleasing. You can’t please everyone, but if you please Jesus, you’ll please the One who matters. Even if the world seems to spin out of control, we know God is working all things for His glory and our good so stand firm and trust. In Him, we are safe and loved. He is faithful.