Get The Elephant off Your Chest

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“For do I now persuade men, or God”  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”  Galatians 1:10

You’ve seen the commercial for a certain type of inhaler.  A person with Asthma or COPD is lying on a couch; with an elephant sitting on his or her chest.  Asthma or COPD constricts the airflow in your lungs; making it difficult to breath, so both conditions make you feel as if an elephant is indeed sitting on your chest.  When an elephant sits on your chest, you can’t breathe.  In fact you can’t live.

Most of my life; I have operated under the assumption that it is possible to do enough, give enough, sacrifice enough, and then surely everyone will like me.  And be pleased with me.  And talk nice about me.  Lysa Terkeurst says in her book, “The Best Yes;”  “Hello, my name is Lysa, welcome to my brand of crazy.” I want people to like me.  I try and try to make sure I please them.  And it gets me in trouble.  Like when an elephant sits on my chest.  Because it is impossible to please everyone.”

Through the years, I have honestly tried to keep all my people happy.  I’ve tried saying all the right words; doing all the right things, to be all things to all people.  That’s what God says to do; right?  I’ve done acts of kindness, when I was literally struggling to breathe.  I do love blessing people.  My spiritual gifts are encouragement and service, so I am the happiest when I’m serving others.  That’s what Jesus did.  However; dear reader, it can get out of balance.

We have to make certain we examine our hearts, check our motives, reevaluate and ask ourselves; Am I doing this out of my people pleasing addiction, or am I doing this because it’s the God honoring thing to do?  It’s perfectly OK to say NO.  It is.

In the past; my addiction to people pleasing has made me hardly able to breathe.  In my latter years; I have realized that I can’t keep up the facade of making everybody happy all the time. Sometimes people aren’t pleased even when you say yes, because you can’t perform to their expectations. Throw that elephant off your chest.  Breathe again.  Inhale the air of God’s best yes!

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, I want to be a pleaser of You more than a pleaser of men. Help me stop and evaluate my motives; to give my best yes, so that I will create space and time for You.  May I listen for Your voice regarding the opportunities in my life.  I want to do good to all men but I also want to do what’s in Your plan for my life.  Help me to say No to good things not meant for me and Yes to the best things.  In Jesus Name.  Amen


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Libby Williams

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